Benecel™ methylcellulose and hydroxypropylmethylcellulose

Benecel MC and HPMC perform many functions in processed foods, depending on type, grade, use level and conditions. Among these functions are thermal gelation, film formation, thickening, binding and water retention. The polymeric structure of these products, which is different from other cellulosics, improves cohesion, texture and mouthfeel. Small amounts of Benecel MC and HPMC significantly enhance emulsion stability as well. This is particularly useful in stabilizing whipped toppings and desserts.

These products offer food formulators a unique functional property – reversible thermal gelation, or the ability to gel with water upon heating, then return to the original viscosity upon cooling. Depending on the substitution, and formulation parameters, gelation occurs at 50-80 °C (120-180 °F), forming an oil-insoluble gel or film.

In deep-fat frying, Benecel MC or HPMC can form a barrier that will hold out oil while retaining moisture. The result is a fried food that’s moist yet lower in fat. Extruded fried products also maintain their shape. In fillings, thermal gelation of Benecel MC and HPMC inhibits moisture migration into pie crusts and prevents boil-out while heating fruit bars and pocket-dough products. This property also improves cling in sauces and batters.

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Application Information





Bakery products including bakery cream, cakes and muffin batters (full and reduced fat), donuts and fried pastries, frostings and icings, fruit and cheese fillings for pies and pastries, gluten-free products, pancake and waffle batter and reduced egg formulations.

  • Moisture retention, reduce oil absorption
  • Heat stability, prevent boil out
  • Structure in gluten-free formulas
  • Improved mould release
  • Creamy texture at room temperature, synergy with modified starch, aeration
  • Overrun and thaw stabilization

Dairy products including frozen dairy products and cream cheese.

  • Increased overrun
  • Ice crystal control
  • Mouthfeel
  • Heat stability, adhesion to foods during heat treatment
Desserts and Toppings

Dessert and topping products including whipped toppings, frostings, mousse, candies, mints, chocolates and inclusions.

  • Increased overrun
  • Increased filling viscosity
  • Improved hot consistency, synergy with modified starch
  • Aesthetic coatings
  • Protective coatings
  • Flavor delivery coatings
Meat Alternatives

Meat alternatives including veggie patties.

  • Prevention of bursting and reduction of spatter through water binding
  • Improved hot consistency, yield
  • Structure
  • Cohesion during heat treatment
Pet Food

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

  • Structure
  • Cohesion during heat treatment
Prepared Foods

Prepared foods including onion rings, structured potato products, deep-frying batter, microwaveable products and doughnuts.

  • Reduced oil absorption, improved yield
  • Adhesion to bread crumbs
  • Prevention of bursting
  • Improved hot mouthfeel
  • Superior binding
  • Shape retention during heat treatment
Sauces and Savory Products

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

  • Heat stability
  • Consistent viscosity

Document Library

Product Literature(publicly available)

Additional Product Literature

Safety Data Sheets

Additional Information

Regulatory Status
Benecel MC is in compliance with the requirements of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in foods as specified in the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, Title 21, Part 182.1480, “Substances Generally Recognized as Safe” (GRAS). Benecel HPMC is in compliance with the requirements of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for direct addition to foods as specified in the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, Title 21, Part 172.874. Benecel MC and HPMC meet the monograph requirements set forth in the Food Chemicals Codex, current edition and JECFA. Benecel MC and HPMC also conform to the purity criteria of E461 and E464, respectively, as mentioned in the Annex of EC directive 2008/84/EC and amendments.

Common label declarations include methylcellulose, E461, and hydroxypropylmethylcellulose, E464.

Manufacturing Site
Doel, Belgium

Market Information



Product Types or Functions

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