Facebook Twitter LinkedIn RSS Feed

See an unfamiliar ingredient

Soup Can Ingredients

Search the Be Food Smart database

Keyboard

Enter food additive or ingredient name

Select and eat smarter food

Plate
Carboxymethyl Cellulose

Alternate Names

Carboxymethylcellulose, Cellulose Gum, Sodium Salt, sodium carboxymethyl cellulose, CMC

Description

Carboxymethyl Cellulose is a thickener, binder and stabilizer in a variety of foods (see Found In). It is considered a fiber source and as such is used in over-the-counter laxatives. Cellulose is the carbohydrate that makes up the woody parts and cell walls of plants. CMC is a thickening agent made by reacting cellulose (wood pulp, cotton lint) with a derivative of acetic acid. It is not absorbed or digested and is sometimes included in the "dietary fiber" on food labels - however it is not as healthful as fiber obtained from real, natural foods.

Carboxymethyl Cellulose - Quick Stats
Names

Carboxymethylcellulose, Cellulose Gum, Sodium Salt, sodium carboxymethyl cellulose, CMC

Allergy Information

Uses

Stabilizer, Bulking Agent, Emulsifier, Fiber, Thickener

E-Number

466

Additional Information



Found In

Food Items: ice cream, dressing, cheese, icing, toppings, gelatinous desserts, infant/baby formula, candy, cottage cheese, cream cheese spread.

Non-Food Items: K-Y Jelly, toothpaste, laxatives, hand cream, antacids, diet pills, water-based paints, detergents, various paper products, artificial tears and in laundry detergents it is used as a soil suspension polymer designed to deposit onto cotton and other cellulosic fabrics creating a negatively charged barrier to soils in the wash

Possible Health Effects

Carboxymethyl Cellulose is poorly absorbed by the body and can result in flatulence. Large amounts can cause diarrhea and abdominal cramps.

Allergy Information

Unknown

Online Resources/Related

Print Resources



Copyright August 24, 2012 Be Food Smart, Updated 3/13/13




Simply click one of the grades below to get a listing of all ingredients with that grade


A Grade B Grade C Grade D Grade F Grade G Grade

Google-Translate-English to French Google-Translate-English to Spanish Google-Translate-English to German Google-Translate-English to Italian
Follow BeFoodSmart on Twitter

Most Viewed

High Fructose Corn Syrup
BHA
Acesulfame Potassium
Dextrose
FD&C Red No.40
Sodium Benzoate
Maltodextrin
Xanthan Gum
Lecithin
Agar Agar
Guar Gum
FD&C Colors
Caramel Color
Annatto
Carrageenan
Sodium Nitrate
Carmoisine
Bromates
Cellulose Gum
Xylitol
Carnauba Wax