Development and Application of Cellulose Ether
The cellulose ether is the most abundant natural resource on the earth that can be restored, with such characteristics as low cost, biodegradation, no pollution to the environment. Therefore, countries in the world attach great importance to research and development of cellulose.
The cellulose ether has now been widely used in paints, household chemicals, pharmaceuticals, textiles, plastics, tobacco, adhesives, films and other industrial sectors and research fields. In the cellulose ether products, carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC), hydroxy ethyl cellulose (HEC), hydroxypropyl cellulose (HPC), hydroxypropyl methyl cellulose (HPMC) are as the representative, the products have been commercialized.
Application of Cellulose ether in Food
Microcrystalline cellulose was confirmed as a food additive by the World Health Organization in 1971. In the food industry, microcrystalline cellulose is mainly used as emulsifiers, foam stabilizers, high-temperature stabilizers, non-nutritive fillers, thickeners, suspending agents, shape-retaining agents and agents to control the formation of ice crystals. The United States has widely used microcrystalline cellulose to produce frozen food, cold drinks sweets as well as sauce for cooking. Germany began production of microcrystalline cellulose in 1975, and used microcrystalline cellulose and its sodium carboxymethyl cellulose products as food additives to produce salad oil, milk fat and dextrin condiments.