Cellulose Gum

Chemistry: Cellulosics

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Cellulose gum, or sodium carboxyethylcellulose (CMC), from Ashland is widely used as a cost-effective thickener and stabilizer in food and beverages. In addition to modifying the behavior of water, cellulose gum is useful in modifying flow, adding texture and enhancing mouthfeel.

A wide range of cellulose gum grades with different viscosities, molecular weights, degrees of substitution and particle sizes are available and products can be customized to meet specific applications. Our global manufacturing base is designed to meet regional needs.

  • Aqualon™ GMO and non-GMO cellulose gum grades are manufactured in the U.S.
  • Blanose™ GMO and non-GMO cellulose gum grades are manufactured in Europe.
  • Bondwell™ cellulose gum 99.5% purity grades are manufactured in China.

We also offer a number of specialty cellulose gums for specific purposes.

  • Aquasorb™ specialty super-absorbent cellulose gum is designed for maximum water-holding in bakery products for improved appearance, quality and yield.
  • Aquacel™ specialty cellulose gum grades are designed for guar gum supplementation and replacement.
  • Aquacel™ WS specialty cellulose gum grade is designed for tartaric acid stabilization in white and rosé wines.


Application Subapplication Benefits
  • Breads
  • Cake Mixes, Cakes
  • Muffins
  • Pie and Pastry Filling
  • Pita Bread, Pizza
  • Soft Tortillas, Dry Masa Flour
  • Improves shelf life
  • Controls consistency
  • Thickens fillings
  • Retains moisture
  • Prevents syneresis
  • Improves volume and texture
  • Chocolate Drinks
  • Coffee and Teas
  • Concentrates/Squashes
  • Fruit Flavored Drinks
  • Juice Beverages
  • Instant Powder Drinks
  • Suspends particles in cocoa drinks
  • Dissolves quickly in hot or cold water
  • Improves mouthfeel in low-sugar beverages
  • Replaces pectin
  • Improves clarity
  • Ice Cream and Ice Milk
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Cream Cheese or Spreadable Cheese
  • Acidified Milk Drink
  • Yogurt and Buttermilk Drinks
  • Puddings
  • Soft Serve Ice Cream
  • Improves mouthfeel
  • Stabilizes proteins in low-pH dairy drinks
  • Prevents syneresis
  • Improves texture
  • Reduces ice crystal growth in ice cream
Desserts and Toppings
  • Icing and Frosting
  • Water Ice/Ice Pops
  • Sherbet
  • Chocolate or Marshmallow Topping and Meringue
  • Marzipan
  • Improves mouthfeel
  • Cost-effective thickener and stabilizer
  • Controls and reduces syneresis
  • Emulsified meat and fish
  • Frozen fish
  • Meat casings
  • Reduced cracking
  • Improved yield
  • Cost effective
  • Water binding
Pet Food
  • Canned pet food
  • Dry pet food
  • Soft, semi-moist pet food

Canned Pet Foods

  • Thickens gravy and liquids
  • Binds water and meat juices to facilitate converying and filling operations
  • Inhibits fat migration

Semi-moist Pet Foods

  • Increases moisture retention
  • Improves sheen and appearance
  • Binds fines
  • Facilitates extruder operations

Dry Pet Foods

  • Provides instant viscosity for gravy-type products
  • Imparts desirable gloss to gravy-type products
  • Facilitates extrusion
  • Improves retention of pellet hardness

Pet-food Gravy

  • Rapidly thickens the gravy
  • Retards softening of the pellet
  • Imparts a desirable gloss to wetted surfaces
Prepared Foods
  • Extruded Onion Rings or Snacks
  • Instant Fried Noodles
  • Instant Hot Cereal
  • Instant Dressings, Soup Mixes, Spice Mixes, and Dips
  • Aids emulsion
  • Increases breaking strength
  • Hydrates quickly
  • Stabilizes and thickens dry mixes
Sauces and Savory Products
  • Barbeque Sauce
  • Cheese Sauce
  • Ketchup, Mustard, Mayonnaise, Pickle Relish
  • Salad Dressings
  • Table/Pancake Syrup
  • Fruit Preps and Jams
  • Cost-effective thickener and stabilizer
  • Controls and reduces syneresis

Additional Information

Regulatory Status

Cellulose gum complies with the requirements of the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, Title 21 section 182.1745, “Substances Generally Recognized as Safe” (GRAS) for use in foods and meets the monograph requirements set forth in the Food Chemicals Codex, current edition. Cellulose gum also conforms to the purity criteria of E466 as mentioned in the Annex of EC directive 2008/84/EC and amendments. An ADI (acceptable daily intake) of “not specified” has been allocated by the Scientific Committee of the EU and the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives.


“Cellulose Gum”, accepted as a common or usual name for purified sodium carboxymethylcellulose, may be used in food label ingredient statements.

Manufacturing Site

Hopewell, Virginia, U.S.

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