Aqualon™ cellulose gum

Aqualon cellulose gum, or sodium carboxymethylcellulose (CMC), is widely used as an economical thickener and stabilizer in foods and beverages. Besides modifying the behavior of water, cellulose gum is useful in suspending solids and modifying the flow and texture. Aqualon cellulose gum has the ability to form strong, oil-resistant films. In beverage concentrates (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) and powdered drink mixes, cellulose gum adds pleasant, clean mouthfeel.

The anionic nature of CMC allows it to interact with the positive charges found on protein in acidic conditions, thus making it an excellent stabilizer for low-pH dairy beverages. CMC is also used in ice cream to control meltdown, add texture and protect against heat shock. High-viscosity grades of CMC are efficient thickeners and have a great ability to control and hold water.

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Application Information





Bakery products including bakery cream; bread, pizza, and sweet doughs; cake and muffin batters (full and reduced fat); fruit and cheese fillings for pies and pastries; frostings and icings; and tortillas and masa flour.

  • Improved water retention, increased volume and delayed staling
  • Dry strength, improved elasticity
  • Improved crumb structure
  • Improved strength, reduced fat and increased shelflife
  • Improved distribution of fruit and nuts
  • Crispness, stabilization
  • Control of sugar crystals
  • Thickening, stabilization



Beverage products including beverage concentrates (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), dry mix for beverages, and ready-to-consume specialty beverages (coffee, latte, shakes). 

  • Control of syneresis, starch substitute
  • Stabilization, improved hot mouthfeel



Dairy products including acidified dairy beverages and buttermilk drinks, cottage cheese, ice cream (regular and soft serve). ice milk, puddings, spreadable cheese, and yogurt.

  • Protein stabilization at low pH
  • Improved mouthfeel
  • Cold soluble
  • Controlled ice crystal growth


Desserts and Toppings

Desserts and Toppings products including chocolate topping, icings, marshmallow topping, marzipan, meringues, candy coatings, pie fillings and cream fillings, sherbet, and water ice/ice pops.

  • Improved mouthfeel
  • Thickener
  • Controlled ice crystal growth
  • Aesthetic coatings
  • Protective coatings
  • Flavor delivery coatings

Meat including casings, meat, meat liners, and seafood

  • Water binding, improved peelability of casing, control of syneresis
  • Reduced thawing loss
  • Releasing agent when peeling off casing
Meat Alternatives

Meat alternatives including vegetarian meat analogues.

  • Water binding, control of syneresis
  • Reduced thawing loss
  • Improved extrusion and appearance, increased water retention
Pet Food

Pet food including canned foods, dual-textured dog foods and specialty and semi-moist pet foods.

  • Instant thickening of gravy, retarded softening of pellets
  • Improved extrusion and appearance, increased water retention
  • Thickening of gravy, stabilization of fat
Prepared Foods

Prepared foodsincluding batters and breadings, convenience foods, fried foods, marinades, noodles and pasta, processed potatoes, sauces and soups.

  • Thickening, binding, and fat and water barriers
  • Holding matrix systems together
  • Controlling mobility in sauces and toppings
  • Improved shelf life, stabilization, viscosity, mouthfeel and water control
Sauces and Savory Products

Sauces and savory products including salad dressings, tomato sauces, and barbecue sauces.

  • Thickening, reduced syneresis
  • Stabilization
  • Texture control, cost-savings
  • Drain weight control


Document Library

Product Literature(publicly available)

Additional Product Literature

Safety Data Sheets

Additional Information

Regulatory Status
Aqualon CMC 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, Va., USA

Market Information



Product Types or Functions

Food and Beverage
Bakery, Beverage, Dairy, Desserts and Toppings, Meat, Meat Alternatives, Pet Food, Prepared Foods, Sauces and Savory Products
Mouthfeel, Rheology Controller, Stabilizer, Structure Enhancer, Thickener, Water Binder