Microcrystalline cellulose and carboxymethylcellulose sodium occurs as a white or off-white odorless and tasteless hygroscopic powder containing 5–22% sodium carboxymethylcellulose. It is a water-dispersible organic hydrocolloid.
Uses: Microcrystalline Cellulose is a gum that is the nonfibrous form of cellulose, an alpha-cellulose. It is dispersible in water but not soluble, requiring considerable energy to disperse and hydrate. In this form it is used in dry applications such as tableting, capsules, and shredded cheese where it functions as a non-nutritive filler, binder, flow aid, and anticaking agent. By the addition of carboxymethylcellulose to the alpha-cellulose prior to drying, improved functional properties of hydration and dispersion are obtained. This product is designed for use in water dispersions, being insoluble in water but dispersing in water to form colloidal sols below 1% and white opaque gels above the 1% usage level. It is used as a heat shock stabilizer and bodying agent in frozen desserts, as an opacifier in low-fat dressings, as a foam stabilizer in whipped toppings, and as an emulsifier in dressings. Also termed cellulose gel.