Gum karaya is the dried exudate of the Sterculia urens Roxburgh plant and other Sterculia species. The trees grow wild or are cultivated in plantations in India and sub-Saharan Africa, especially in Senegal and Mali.
Karaya is the dried exudate that comes out of the trees when they are incised. The clumps of gum are then harvested by hand.
It is a natural polysaccharide consisting mainly of carbohydrates and galacturonic acid.