Enterobacter strain A47 (DSM 23139) was found to produce a fucose-containing exopolysaccharide (EPS). The EPS is composed of fucose, galactose, glucose, pyruvate, succinate and acetate in the molar ratios 1.6:1.3:1.1:1.2:0.7:1.5. It is a high molecular weight (5.8 x 10(6)) homogeneous biopolymer, as indicated by the low polydispersity value (1.3). The steady shear flow properties of the EPS aqueous solutions are similar to guar gum and fucogel, and its viscoelastic properties indicate the formation of viscous aqueous solutions with entangled polymer chains. Additionally, the EPS has demonstrated good flocculating and emulsion stabilizing capacities, comparable to some commercially available products. These functional properties make the fucose-containing EPS a good alternative to many synthetic polymers,as well as other natural polysaccharides, in several applications in the food, pharmaceutical, cosmetic, textile, paper and petroleum industries. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.