They sure do put some weird shit into food and drink don't they? I was just taking a refreshing swig from my ice-cold can of Mountain Dew when I caught a glimpse of the ingredients on the side of the can. You've got the usual shit that you'd expect to find in there, such as sugars and flavoring but there's one thing which sticks out to me... Gum Arabic? WTF is that? Well, a quick search on Wikipedia shows that;
Gum arabic, also known as gum acacia, chaar gund, char goond or meska, is a natural gum made of hardened sap taken from two species of the acacia tree; Acacia senegal and Acacia seyal. The gum is harvested commercially from wild trees throughout the Sahel from Senegal and Sudan to Somalia, although it has been historically cultivated in Arabia and West Asia. Gum arabic is a complex mixture of polysaccharides and glycoproteins that is used primarily in the food industry as a stabilizer. It is edible and has E number E414. Gum arabic is a key ingredient in traditional lithography and is used in printing, paint production, glue, cosmetics and various industrial applications, including viscosity control in inks and in textile industries, although less expensive materials compete with it for many of these roles. While gum arabic is now produced throughout the African Sahel, it is also still harvested and used in the Middle East. For example, Palestinians use the natural gum to make a chilled, sweetened, and flavored gelato-like dessert.
That's pretty cool, it's used in everything ranging from foods to paint. It also reduces the surface tension of liquids, which leads to increased fizzing in carbonated beverages. This can be exploited in what is known as a Diet Coke and Mentos eruption. That's pretty awesome too
But as I was saying, it's pretty interesting to see what they put into food and drink these days.