Modification of Starch
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Vegetable gums were first seen as exudates from injured plants. These viscous fluids dissolved in water and hardened upon drying. They often were used as glues and thickening agents. Over time, the term "vegetable gum" expanded to include any polysaccharide derived from a plant that forms a hydrogel or modifies the rheological characteristics of water. Natural vegetable gums come from two sources. They are either exudates from or general constituents of plants. The general constituent gums are often structural polymers, such as cellulose, or storage polymers, such as starch.