Gum Tex, Gum Paste, Gum Trag, Fondant_?

Decorating By imartsy Updated 18 Mar 2014 , 9:38pm by Betpig

imartsy Posted 7 Aug 2006 , 5:03pm
post #1 of 19

So what is the difference between gum tex, gum paste, - what is gum tragacanth, and what is the difference between gum tex & gum paste & just adding some of the gum paste Wilton stuff to fondant??

What about being edible & Storage? are those differences?

18 replies
Chole Posted 7 Aug 2006 , 5:16pm
post #2 of 19

Good question because I've been wanting to know the same thing. I hope we get some good responses.

lilie Posted 7 Aug 2006 , 5:16pm
post #3 of 19

I would like to know too.

briansbaker Posted 7 Aug 2006 , 5:20pm
post #4 of 19

Fondant is a sugar syrup that is crystallized to a smooth, creamy white mass and is used for both icing cakes and cake decorations.

Gum paste is a moldable, edible confectionary product that is widely used to make cake decorations. It's ingredients include water, sugar, egg whites and gelatin

you can add (not sure how much) gum paste to your fondant to make it get a little stiffer.. I believe though after doing so, it's not really recommended to eat.. BUMP!

patton78 Posted 7 Aug 2006 , 5:27pm
post #5 of 19

I believe it is recommended to add 1tsp. of gum-tex to every 12 oz. of fondant. This will help it dry faster for things like flowers, bows, figurines extra. You just want to make sure that you do not add to much because this will make it harden to fast thus it will not be pliable.

imartsy Posted 7 Aug 2006 , 8:52pm
post #6 of 19

so is it still edible? Has anyone used tylose powder? Is that still edible if you add it to fondant??

What do you all use for structural support of your figures??

patton78 Posted 8 Aug 2006 , 12:10am
post #7 of 19

If you add gum-tex or tylose to your fondant it really is not edible. It gets pretty hard do you would not want to eat it.

TexasSugar Posted 8 Aug 2006 , 4:35am
post #8 of 19

Gum-Tex, Gum Trag and Tylose are all the same type of product.

When used in fondant or used to make gumpaste, then do not make your fondant or gumpaste in-edible.

Gumpaste is edible, though many do not want to eat it, and in most cases it isn't really meant to be eaten. It usually isn't flaved and dries very hard. But there is nothing in it (or the gum-tex, Gum Trag or Tylose) that is toxic or would hurt you.

imartsy Posted 8 Aug 2006 , 4:55pm
post #9 of 19

So can I use gum-tex interchangeably with gum trag? or tylose powder? I have recipes that call for the gum trag and I can't find any around me..... I know I'd have to order it, but I didn't want to do that right now. if I could use the others interchangeably, that would work great for me!

Also, b/c it dries really hard I've heard of people keeping the figures or flowers made of gumpaste - can u do that? Do they grow mold or anything?

Oh lastly - okay is there a difference between straight gumpaste & adding gum-tex to fondant? What is it?

itsacake Posted 8 Aug 2006 , 5:53pm
post #10 of 19

Gum tragacanth is a natural product. It is used to make gumpaste and can be added to fondant to make it dry faster and harder. The British then call that mixture modeling paste. Gum trag is fairly expensive It is/was the traditional way to make gumpaste and is why it is called gumpaste.

Tylose powder is a synthetic product which is also used to make gumpaste and can also be used in fondant in the same way gum tragacanth is used to make modeling paste. Tylose is less expensive than gum tragacanth and it dries whiter and faster. Also, it you add tylose to your fondant to make modeling paste, it needs to sit for a much shorter time than gum tragacanth, at least according to Lindy Smith, before the firming effects are in effect--just a few minutes , vs overnight. When making gumpaste, it is best for both tylose and gum trag if the mixtures sit overnight before use. Most people seem to think they can be used interchangably, but there are recipes all over for both. The most famous Tylose gumpaste recipe seems to be Nicholas Lodge's. You can find it at
Scott Clark Woolley's gum trag gumpste recipe is here:

There are a couple of posts on CC that mention that Polident denture powder is mostly the same chemical as Tylose and can be used in an emergency in the same way. It adds a minty taste, they say. LOL!!!!

Gum-tex is Wilton's name for yet another gum which does the same things as gum tragacanth and Tylose. It dries less white than either of the other two alternatives, and, I think, tastes worse. It is effective however, and may be the least expensive--I'm not sure about that part.

The difference between fondant with added gum and gumpaste is one of degree. The gumpaste is stronger and more elastic and can be rolled thinner. What you use will depend on what you want to make.

While I've had many people tell me they ate my gumpaste decorations and liked them and though the whole point is to make decorations that are sugar and edible, I agree with Texas Sugar that none of this stuff tastes very good, and if you are adding wires and florist tape to your gumpaste creations, they aren't really meant to be eaten.

I've seen gumpaste decorations that are years old and still look pretty nice. The trick is to keep the dust off! Moisture is the enemy of gumpaste, so humid climates may be different.

Lindy Smith says that to make modeling paste you should add 1 tsp gum trag or tylose to 8 oz fondant. If you used a lot of colorand the paste is too soft, she suggests using just a pinch more powder. If it is too tight/dry, add a touch of shortening.

Hope this helps.

TexasSugar Posted 8 Aug 2006 , 8:26pm
post #11 of 19
Originally Posted by imartsy

Also, b/c it dries really hard I've heard of people keeping the figures or flowers made of gumpaste - can u do that? Do they grow mold or anything?

Oh lastly - okay is there a difference between straight gumpaste & adding gum-tex to fondant? What is it?

I have a turkey, scarecrow, and pumpkins that have been stored in a cake box for 3 or 4 years now that are pefectly fine. No mold. Some of the colors faded a little bit and they are more dull looking than when orginally made but they are fine other wise. I used fondant mixed with gum-tex for them.

Gumpaste is going to dry faster while working with it. Fondant with gum-tex is going to dry slower than straight gumpaste so it gives you more working time with it.

nefgaby Posted 15 Aug 2006 , 12:05am
post #12 of 19

HI, I would like to have your opinions in this, if you don't mind.... What it I add 1/4 tsp of gum (gum-tex) to 2 1/2 lbs of fondant, just to add more elasticity to it but still using it to cover a cake and MEANT to be eaten? I've done this following advice from a very nice lady here in CC, but reading all this made me wonder, any thoughts? Thanks so much!

coffeecake Posted 15 Aug 2006 , 12:18am
post #13 of 19

Thanks Texassugar and itsacake for the very informative response. I just molded by first figure last night and was wondering about all the things you covered! My cake will not be done until Sunday, and I will post a picture then.

daprincessnora Posted 11 Apr 2012 , 8:18pm
post #14 of 19

Really helpfull info about gums ladies !
I bought the gumpaste mix from wilton but i found the steps overwhelming a bit, so i was thinking after reading this to add gum tex to the fondant and reduce the working then!

Thanks ladies

jgifford Posted 11 Apr 2012 , 8:35pm
post #15 of 19

Any gum paste product can be eaten, they just don't taste great. Gum tex or tylose or any of these added to fondant will not alter the taste noticeably. I use only modeling chocolate to cover cakes because it tastes so much better than fondant, and occasionally add gum tex to it if it's too soft. The taste doesn't bother me nearly so much as the smell. When I make gum paste, the smell about does me in.

nefgaby - - 1/4 tsp of gum tex in 2 1/2 lbs of fondant may not be enough to make any appreciable difference. You may want to add more and it shouldn't affect the taste too much.

Claire138 Posted 11 Apr 2012 , 8:42pm
post #16 of 19

I have made loads of shoes, babies, flowers etc and never used any of the above. I make them out of MMF and they dry beautifully. I have some shoes that I made that I could not part with and have been in a lock and lock for a few years now and are still perfect, ditto with some extra roses I had from cakes that I didn't want to throw away but would not use after being stored for so long. I've not used any of the above (gum tex etc) bc I was unsure about the taste when I first started out with fondant and then I read that they are better not eaten and I couldn't figure out a way to tell people not to eat the decorations!

sweetflowers Posted 11 Apr 2012 , 9:01pm
post #17 of 19

The others are correct, adding gums to fondant is still edible, I also don't notice a flavor difference, but the reason why some say not to eat it is because it can get hard. Don't want someone to break a tooth or something icon_smile.gif But adding just that small amount to 2 1/2 lbs fondant isn't going to harden it up to bother anyone. Also don't forget about CMC, that's another thickening agent, like tylose, but not I don't think it's natural.

DeniseNH Posted 12 Apr 2012 , 2:33am
post #18 of 19

I use to follow Rosemary Watson';s method of making Gum Paste using Gum Tragacanth - until I learned that it comes from gum found in shrubs in the rain forest and that's why it's so expensive. CMC is its equal but is a manufactured product so it sells for a fraction of the price of Tragacanth. Gum Tex would be England's CMC (in other words a Tragacanth knock off), fondant doesn't have CMC or Gum Tex or Tragacanth in it.

Betpig Posted 18 Mar 2014 , 9:38pm
post #19 of 19

Do you add the gum tex dry to already made fondant?

 Thanks for the help.

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