Dammar gum, or damar gum, is obtained from the Dipterocarpaceae family of trees in India and East Asia, principally those of the genera Shorea, Balanocarpus or Hopea. Most is produced by tapping trees; however, some is collected in fossilised form from the ground. The gum varies in colour from clear to pale yellow, while the fossilised form is grey-brown. Dammar gum is a triterpenoid resin, containing a large number of triterpenes and their oxidation products. Many of them are low molecular weight compounds (dammarane, dammarenolic acid, oleanane, oleanonic acid, etc.), but dammar also contains a polymeric fraction, composed of polycadinene.
Dammar is used in foods, as a clouding or glazing agent, and in incense, varnish and other products. Dammar varnish, made from dammar gum mixed with turpentine, was introduced as a picture varnish in 1826; commonly used in oil painting, both during the painting process and after the painting is finished.
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