Excipient – Microcrystalline Cellulose
Microcrystalline cellulose (MCC) is a free-flowing crystalline powder (a non-fibrous microparticle). It is insoluble in water, dilute acids and most organic solvents, but slightly soluble in the alkali solution of 20%. It has a wide range of uses in the pharmaceutical excipients and can be directly used for tabletting of dry powder. It is widely used as pharmaceutical excipients, flow aids, fillers, disintegrating agents, anti-sticking agents, adsorbents, and capsule diluents.
MCC is mainly used in the pharmaceutical industry as a pharmaceutical excipient, and compared with the starch or starch derivatives has the following advantages.
(1). It is easy to disintegrate, that is, after entering into the stomach the drug can be easily disintegrated and then absorbed by the body.
(2). It is difficult to get moldy. This is because the cellulose isβ-glucose configuration while the starch isα-configuration. Amylases generally do not attack the cellulose.
(3). The cellulose is not absorbed by the body and is not easy to react with carrying drugs, and therefore more secure. The disadvantage is the high price.
Microcrystalline cellulose is a pure product of cellulose depolymerization, an odorless and tasteless crystalline powder prepared from the natural cellulose. In the pharmaceutical industry, the MCC products can be used as pharmaceutical excipients and disintegrating agents of tablets; in the food industry, MCC can be used as an important base material in functional foods and is an ideal health food additive; in the paint industry, MCC can be used as thickeners and emulsifiers of water-based coatings by using its thixotropic and thickening properties; in cosmetics, MCC has a combination of filler, thickening and emulsifying effects in itself, and has very good emulsifying capacity for the the oily substance; in the production of leather by wet process, it can be used as the tackifier and filler to make the leather surface smooth and the thickness uniform. Thus it can be seen that MCC has a wide range of uses, and that the domestic demand for the product will continue to increase.