Arabic gum is a complex mixture of polysaccharides (sugars) and glycoproteins that has a gentle scent (slightly sweet and fruity with a touch of nuts) however, in comparison to other resins it has a very mild scent.
Gum arabic is a complex mixture of saccharides and glycoproteins, which gives it one of its most useful properties: it is perfectly edible. Other substances have replaced it in situations where toxicity is not an issue, as the proportions of the various chemicals in gum arabic vary widely and make its reliable performance troublesome. Still, it remains an important ingredient in soft drink syrups, "hard" gummy candies like gumdrops, and in marshmallows. As the name implies, gum arabic is also found in chewing gums, where it acts as one of the many factors that result in the texture of the gum. For artists it is the traditional binder used in watercolor paint, and was used in photography for gum printing. Pharmaceuticals and cosmetics also use the gum, and it is used as a binder in pyrotechnic compositions. It is an important ingredient in shoe polish. It is also used often as a lickable adhesive on postage stamps and cigarette papers. Printers employ it to stop oxidation of aluminum printing plates in the interval between processing of the plate and its use on a printing press.