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balata (băl´ətə), nonelastic natural rubber obtained as a latex from the South American tree Manikara bidentata and from related trees. Its properties are similar to those of gutta-percha, and its processing and uses are essentially the same. It is sometimes called gutta balata.

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balata The latex of Manilkara bidentata (family Sapotaceae), obtained from incising the trunk, which was formerly of considerable commercial importance.