No change was observed in the viscosity of samples of mucilage from Dicerocaryum zanguebarium when treated with 5 mM ascorbic acid. Mucilage was treated with ascorbic acid in the presence of copper and iron, and a mixture of the two ions. The effect of treatment was followed by gel filtration of products on a Sepharose 6B column and by measuring the amount of reducing sugars generated by the dinitrosalicylic acid (DNSA) method. The molecular weight of treated samples was lower than that of untreated controls. The amount of reducing groups was found to increase. When the mucilage was treated in a system containing hydrogen peroxide and copper ions, the polymer was also degraded, yielding fragments of lower molecular weight as reflected by the broadened gel filtration peak.