Gum elemi

A brief description

Geographic and botanical origin 

Elemi Gum is a term for some resins of the plant family Burseraceae. Many trees of this plant family have aromatic resins with pleasant odor. The two best known examples are Myrrh and Olibanum gum (also known as Frankinscense). 

Throughout history, the name Elemi Gum has been used to designate different resins. African Elemi, used in ancient Europe and Egypt, was harvested from the tree species Boswellia frereana and Boswellia sacra (see also Olibanum Gum). The name Brazilian Elemi denotes the resin of the tree genus Protium and Amyris, endemic to mezzo and southern America. 

Nowaday, the customary Elemi gum is harvested from the tree species Canarium Iuzonicum, Canarium ovatum and Canarium indicum. This Elemi is harvested on the Filipino archipelago, hence it’s second name “Manila Elemi”. 

Harvest and Processing 

Elemi gum is won through tapping of the Canarium trees. Whitish to bright yellow, sticky and well smelling gum exudes from the incisions on the trees: Elemi gum. Afterwards it is collected by local farmers. 

Manila Elemi gum can be processed through steam distillation into Elemi oil.

Sensory and pyhtochemical composition

The raw material Elemi gum is a malleable, whitish to bright yellow gum mass. It has a pleasant citrus and fennel-like  smell.

Elemi gum contains essential oils. The Elemi oil contains a higher part of essential oils than the Elemi gum. Limonene is the main component of these essential oils and responsible for the pleasant smell of the gum.

Traditional and industrial applications of Elemi Gum

The essential oils are the reason for the use of Elemi gum as a therapeutic compound in ancient European cultures. Nowadays, Elemi is used as Olibanum substitute in incent and as raw material in the production of high end oil varnishes, soaps and paints. Further, Elemi gum is used in the fragrance industry.

Willy Benecke and Elemi Gum

Willy Benecke has a long standing history as supplier of the raw material Elemi Gum. We purchase our gum from different suppliers, to ensure that the demands of our customers are met, to ensure highest quality at all times and to guarantee short delivery times.

We offer Elemi Gum for the following industrial applications:

  • As raw material in the fragrance industry
  • As incent