Gums from plants other than Acacia senegel (the source of gum arabic) such as gum ghatti from Anogeissus latifolia and karroo gum from Acacia karroo are used as substitutes for gum arabic. Exudate gums from Feronia limonia and Cochlospermum religiosum are also used as gum arabic substitutes.
Gum arabic is a very expensive imported gum which is sometimes in short supply. Because of this, the use of gum arabic has been replaced by cheaper substitutes such as modified starches. An example is the corn fiber gum, which is a by-product of corn processing. Another gum arabic substitute is the carbohydrate polymer alternan, which is made using the enzyme alternansucrase from the Leuconostoc mesenteroides bacteria.