What is Gum Acacia and Why We Use it in Our Cookies

In order to bring you the most delicious cookies with the most satisfying texture, we’ve experimented with hundreds (and we do mean hundreds) of recipes with various ingredients. Making the softest cookies that stay fresh and hold their shape is no easy task, and we’ve been on quite the tasty learning journey. In our latest (and best!) update to our recipe you may notice the addition of a new ingredient: Organic Gum Acacia.

So what is Acacia gum, how is it used, and how do you pronounce it?  Yeah, let’s start there: Uh-Kay-shuh.

So now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, what exactly is this mysterious acacia ingredient?  

Acacia Gum — also called Arabic gum, Indian gum, just plain Acacia, and a slew of other names — is a natural gum sourced from the hardened sap of the Acacia Senegal tree, a thorny shrub-like tree native to regions Africa, India, and Pakistan.

A gum acacia tree
A Gum acacia tree photographed in India. Photo from Wikipedia

As a multifunctional additive, it can be used as an emulsifier, stabilizing agent, and fiber. You’d be surprised by how many common products contain small amounts of Acacia: candy, wine, salad dressings, sodas — and it’s even used in non-food products like cosmetics, fragrances, and paints.

So how are we putting it to work here at Maxine’s Heavenly?  

Since Acacia gum is flavorless, when used in baking it really only affects texture — and texture is oh-so-important in cookies, isn’t it?  Honestly it’s one of the trickier things to get right, especially in gluten-free baked goods, and extra-especially when you’re a company that’s committed to only using healthy, all natural, clean ingredients!

If you take a quick look at the 37 ingredients that make up a Twinkie (yup, 37) you’ll recognize only about 5 of them as, well, actual food.  A bunch of added chemicals are thrown in to make them cheaper to produce and to extend their shelf life (to a pretty freakish degree).  

 A photo of Twinkie ingredients
A photo of Twinkie ingredients
by Dwight Eschliman from Fooducate

Yeah, we’re not so interested in that. So in our quest to find the right additive to help keep our cookies stabilized and structured, we were looking for an ingredient that was natural and that wouldn’t change our signature taste or cause any food sensitivity in the folks who gobble them up.

Enter: Organic Gum Acacia.  Cue Angels singing.

Eureka! Guys, we have been loving what Acacia has done for our gluten-free, vegan cookies. The addition of Acacia accentuates the flavors, keeps them soft, and helps them hold their shape. Triple win. We also love that Acacia is super low calorie and has a low glycemic index. And another plus is that it provides a nice dose of healthy soluble fiber, so our cookies now have one more gram of fiber per serving.  

Maxine’s Heavenly Cookie Snack Packs 
Our snack packs were the first batch made with Organic Gum Acacia

We’re always exploring ways to make our product better and stay at the top of the game in health and wellness, while bringing you the tastiest treats you can find.  

It’s a pretty exhausting job having to taste-test endless recipes of the yummiest soft-baked cookies around, but someone’s gotta do it. Order a variety snack box of delicious gluten-free, vegan cookies today and taste-test them for yourself! 


Try our new snack packs!


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