Usually what we call CMC (for food) is its salt, sodium carboxymethyl cellulose or CMC sodium rather than carboxymethyl cellulose itself. Due to the poor water solubility of CMC, for better use, it is usually made into sodium salt. CMC sodium is a water-soluble cellulose ether obtained by chemical modification of natural cellulose such as cotton linter or wood pulp.
Cellulose gum or sodium carboxymethyl cellulose is a multifunctional ingredient that can be used as a thickener, binder, emulsifier and stabilizer in food. The European food additive number is E466. It and xanthan gum are the most commonly used and most common thickeners in food applications. CMC cellulose gum is often used in food and beverages to make the food thick and creamy to attract the appetite of customers. It thickens and stabilizes many foods by maintaining moisture, keeping the oil and water phase components from separating and producing a consistent texture.
1. Food. The roles of CMC in food industry are various. Food-grade cellulose gum is mainly used as a thickener in our daily food. In terms of taste, it gives foods thicker and creamier characteristics, and it is more attractive to consumers than foods without it. Generally, it acts as a thickening, suspending, emulsifying, stabilizing and film-forming agent in many foods such as beverages, baking, dairy products, dessert products and meat products. In some food applications, CMC cellulose gum can also replace some other thickeners, such as guar gum, gelatin, agar, sodium alginate and pectin. According to different viscosities and meshes, applications are diverse.
Main uses and functions of CMC cellulose gum:
Beverages: stabilize particles and improve taste.
Baking: Improve volume and texture, retain moisture and extend shelf life.
Dessert: retain the liquid in the hydrocolloid excipients, improve the taste and reduce syneresis.
Dairy products: Control the growth of ice crystals in ice cream, prevent syneresis and improve texture.
Meat: retain water and increase yield.
2. Cosmetics. According to the "European Commission Cosmetic Substance and Ingredient Information Database", CMC cellulose gum acts as a binder, emulsion stabilizer, film former, masking agent and viscosity control agent in cosmetics and personal care products.
3. Toothpaste. The role of CMC cellulose gum in toothpaste is to completely mix the liquid and solid raw materials, so that the toothpaste has proper viscosity, brightness and smoothness when it is molded and flowed.
4. Others. CMC cellulose gum is used in petroleum drilling, detergent, papermaking, textile, mining, ceramics, etc.