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Gum Arabic: the Invisible Ingredient in Soft Drink Supply Chains

Your elementary school teachers try to stop you from eating the glue, but it turns out you are eating the glue anyway every time you drink soda. Gum arabic is the edible glue that attaches sugar to the liquid. Rich McEachran writes about its significance in the supply chain for The Guardian. Reports vary, but an abundance of the world’s supply of gum arabic comes from the Sudan amidst sometimes shady circumstances. As a result of that shadiness, businesses such as Coca-Cola are reluctant to even confirm that they use the product. It is thought that the prevalence of the gum must be brought to light not just for social reasons but for the sake of building sustainability into its production. The article suggests that if soda makers are going to continue using gum arabic, they should consider directly paying the upwards of five million Sudanese farmers who depend on the gum for a living. Importing from the Sudan may not be great PR, but paying poor farmers is always terrific PR.

About John Friscia

John Friscia is the Editor of Computer Aid's Accelerating IT Success. He began working for Computer Aid, Inc. in 2013 and continues to provide graphic design support for AITS. He graduated summa cum laude from Shippensburg University with a B.A. in English.

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