Magnetite nanoparticles were synthesized and functionalized by coating the particle surfaces with gum arabic (GA) to improve particle stability in aqueous suspensions (i.e. biological media). Particle characterization was performed using transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and dynamic light scattering (DLS) to analyze the morphology and quantify the size distribution of the nanoparticles, respectively. The results from DLS indicated that the GA-treated nanoparticles formed smaller agglomerates as compared to the untreated samples over a 30-h time frame. Thermogravimetric analyses indicated an average weight loss of 23%, showing that GA has a strong affinity toward the iron oxide surface. GA most likely contributes to␣colloid stability via steric stabilization. It was determined that the adsorption of GA onto magnetite exhibits Langmuir behavior.