Product Information

CAS Number:


Chemical and physical data

Formula : variable

Molar Mass: variable

Density : variable

 Other Names

Cellulose (PAC) Polianionica

Poly Anionic Cellulose (Pac)

Sodium CMC

Sodium Carboxymethyl Cellulose (Cmc)

Carboxymethylcellulose, sodium salt

Poly Anionic Cellulose Pac-Lv

Cellulose, carboxymethyl ether, sodium salt


Sodium Carboxymethylcellulose (CMC)

Poly Anionic Cellulose Hv-2

Carboxy Methyl Cellulose Mb5

Cmc Drilling Grade

Sodium Carboxymethylcellulose

Sodium Carboxymethyl Cellulose


What is Carboxymethyl cellulose?

Sodium Carboxy methyl Cellulose (CMC) is the most widely used and the largest amount of cellulose type in the world. It is carboxymethyl derivatives of cellulose, also known as cellulose gum, is the most important Ionic cellulose gum.

There is food grade and industrial grade CMC. The actual substitution degree of CMC is between 0.4~1.5, and food grade substitution is 0.6~0.95, recently revised European legislation allows the DS in the CMC up to 1.5 used in food

CMC-Na is a white fibrous or granular powder, odorless, tasteless, hygroscopicity, easy to disperse in the water form a transparent colloidal solutions. Sodium carboxy methyl cellulose is a thickening agent. Because of its good features so that it has been widely used in food industry. To some extent, it has promote the rapid and healthy development of the food industry.

Due to its thickening emulsifying role, it can stable acid milk beverage and can increased sticky of yogurt system; due to its hydrophilic and rehydration, it can be used for the improvement of bread and other pasta food quality, extend the shelf life of pasta products and improve the texture; because of its gel effect, therefore it can be used to make jellies and jams; it can also be used as edible coating material, compounded with other thickeners, smearing on the surface of some foods may be best to keep food fresh. As it is edible materials, it not have any adverse impact on human health. Therefore, as an ideal food additives, CMC-Na used very common in the food industry.

As to the thickening and emulsifying stability, food grade sodium carboxy methyl cellulose has emulsifying and stability on protein drinks. Generally, characteristics of fats beverages contain different levels of fat and some protein, easy to separate floating in storage to affect the appearance of the product. Besides, protein is easy to separate, particularly the products with low pH value, protein condensation, and CMC-Na can be an effective solution to these problems. It is transparent and stable colloidal dissolved in the water, and can stabilize the protein. At the same time, it reduces the surface tension between the water and fat, so it can make the fat fully emulsified

Applications of Carboxymethyl cellulose:

Construction Industry

carboxymethyl cellulose is used in most of the compositions of cement and building materials because it acts as a stabilizer and hydrophilic agent. It improves the dispersion of sand in the cement, and intensifies its adhesive action. It is also used as glue in upholstery.


The detergent industry is the largest consumer of carboxymethyl cellulose . Technical grade carboxymethyl cellulose compositions are most often used for soaps and detergents. CMC acts as an inhibitor of the redisposition of grease in the fabric after it has been removed by the detergent.

Paper Industry

carboxymethyl cellulose coating reduces the consumption of wax in waxed paper and paperboard, ensuring less penetration of the wax into paper. Similarly, the consumption of printing ink is reduced as a result of the surface shine it gives. In addition, because it smoothes the surface, carboxymethyl cellulose makes paper more resistant to grease and improves the union between fibers, thereby improving the color of the paper. It is also used as a dispersant aid in the extrusion of fibers from the pulp and to prevent their flocculation.


In pesticides and water-based sprays, carboxymethyl cellulose acts as a suspending agent. It also functions as glue to attach the insecticide to the leaves of plants after application. Sometimes, carboxymethyl cellulose is used as an aid in the deterioration of certain fertilizers that are highly polluting.


carboxymethyl cellulose is added to various compositions of glues and adhesives that are used for almost any material. It is widely used in the leather industry. Adhesives that join wood to other wood have been effectively made by combining CMC with starch and phenol formaldehyde.


carboxymethyl cellulose is used in dental impression materials, and in toothpastes and gels. This water soluble ether serves as a thickener, stabilizer, suspending agent and former of films in creams, lotions, or shampoos, and is widely used in hair care products.


carboxymethyl cellulose is used in oil paints and varnishes. It acts as a thickener and suspends the pigment in the fluid.

Oil Industry

Crude or purified carboxymethyl cellulose is used in drilling sludge as a colloid thickener and is applied when removing the drill from the hole to avoid sediments.


The main use of carboxymethyl cellulose in the plastics industry is to help increase the viscosity of plastics such as latex.


The majority of water-soluble ethers are used to join pieces of porcelain. They have good baking properties and carboxymethyl cellulose solutions create very little ash.

Textiles Industry

Crude carboxymethyl cellulose is used as sizing agent for fabric. carboxymethyl cellulose is also used in combination with starch in laundry operations. To give a better finish to fabrics in the manufacturing process, the fabric is impregnated with carboxymethyl cellulose and is then treated with acid and heat. It is also a very effective agent in fabric printing and as a thickening agent in paints and textile varnishes.


carboxymethyl cellulose is used to coat tablets with high degrees of purity and low viscosity. carboxymethyl cellulose is insoluble in the acidic environment of the stomach but soluble in the basic medium of the intestine. It is also used for form gels, to transport the drug, to disintegrate tablets and as a stabilizer for suspensions, emulsions, sprays and bio-adhesive tablets which attach internally to the mucus of a body part.


carboxymethyl cellulose is used in food as an auxiliary agent in the churning of ice cream, creams and dairy products, as an auxiliary to form gels in gelatins and puddings, and as a thickener in salad dressings and fillings. It is also used as suspending agent in fruit juices, as a protective colloid in emulsions and mayonnaise, as a protective agent to cover the surface of fruits and as a stabilizer in ready- to- bake products. Because carboxymethyl cellulose is not metabolized by the human body, it has been approved for use in foods that are low in calories.


The most innovative applications of carboxymethyl cellulose are in the area of medicine. carboxymethyl cellulose solutions are used to form gels that are used in heart, thoracic and cornea surgery. In thorax operations, the lungs are stapled and then covered with a solution of CMC to prevent air leaks and fluid ingress. In the field of orthopedics, carboxymethyl cellulose solutions are used in lubricating the joints of the bones, most often in the wrists, knees and hips. The fluid is injected into these joints to prevent erosion, swelling and possible destruction of the cartilage attached to bones.

Other Applications

carboxymethyl cellulose is also used in the manufacture of diapers and sanitary products of this type. Because it is hydrophilic, carboxymethyl cellulose helps gelatinize liquid and promotes retention.

As the food industry has developed rapidly, the market and applications of sodium carboxymethyl cellulose are on the increasingly growing trend. In many applications, the main roles and functions of sodium carboxymethyl cellulose are as follows.

Applications of carboxymethyl cellulose in food industry:

Thickening and Emulsifying Stabilizing Effects

The edible sodium carboxymethyl cellulose can play an emulsifying stabilizing role in the drinks containing fat and protein. For the general soy milk, cocoa milk, peanut milk, juice milk, coconut milk, almond milk, and fruit juice soymilk, they are characterized by containing different degrees of fat and a certain amount of protein, tending to separate and float during storage, forming an unsightly “collar”, and largely affecting the appearance of products. In addition, protein is easy for condensation and separation. Especially for low-pH products, protein is bound to condense.

In order to solve these problems in the quality, an appropriate amount of sodium carboxymethyl cellulose can be added, because sodium carboxymethyl cellulose is dissolved in water to become a transparent stable colloid. The protein particles become the particles with the same electric charge under the protection of colloid film, making protein particles in a stable state. It also has a certain emulsifying effect, while reducing the surface tension between fat and water at the same time, and making fat sufficiently emulsified, so that quality problems can be satisfactorily resolved. Therefore, sodium carboxymethyl cellulose is often applied in the food industry as a thickener, making food maintain the uniform flavor, concentration and texture.

Effects with Protein

When the pH value is greater than or less than the isoelectric point of protein, sodium carboxymethyl cellulose can form a compound structure with protein, help to improve the stability of emulsion, and on the other hand, is also beneficial to the shape maintenance of ice cream texture. This effect enables the solubility of proteins to be extended to a certain range of pH. In addition, sodium carboxymethyl cellulose is mixed with whey protein concentrate, and can replace egg protein and skimmed milk powder to make various kinds of cakes. After adding sodium carboxymethyl cellulose, the volume of cake will be increased and the quality improved. Sodium carboxymethyl cellulose also replace the egg protein in other products, such as replacing the egg protein of puddings, sauces, and soup and pasty cakes.

Hydrophilicity and Rehydration

It can be seen from the molecular structural formula of sodium carboxymethyl cellulose that it is a cellulose derivative and that there are a large number of hydrophilic groups in the molecular chain such as -OH groups and -COONa groups, so sodium carboxymethyl cellulose has better hydrophilicity and water-holding capacity than cellulose. Therefore, used in baked food, sodium carboxymethyl cellulose enables to make food maintain a certain humidity, prevents food from syneresis and makes food maintain a certain shape and appearance. For example, adding sodium carboxymethyl cellulose into the flour for making biscuits and cakes can prevent water evaporation and aging.

Suspending Effects

The edible sodium carboxymethyl cellulose has excellent suspending supporting strength. Used for liquid beverages, it can make pulp, various solids or other substances suspended in the container, uniform and full, the color bright and eye-catching, and improve the taste. If it is used in combination with other edible pectins by a certain ratio to make the additive for special beverages, the effect will be better. So it is widely used in fruit teas like hawthorn nectar, fruit drinks such as orange juice and coconut juice, and vegetable juices like pumpkin juice. The addition amount of sodium carboxymethyl cellulose is generally appropriate between 0.1% and 0.4%.

Gelation Effects

The thixotropic sodium carboxymethyl cellulose plays an important role in the gelling system and can make jelly, panna cotta, jam and other food. The so-called sodium carboxymethyl cellulose means that there is a certain amount of interaction on the macromolecular chains and tends to form a three-dimensional structure. After the formation of three-dimensional structure, the solution viscosity shows an increase; while after breaking the three-dimensional structure, the viscosity shows a decrease. The thixotropic phenomenon is shown that viscosity changes depending on time. When the shear rate (D) is constant, i.e., D = K, the viscosity of sodium carboxymethyl cellulose will decrease with time; while the shear rate is discharged, i.e., D = 0, the viscosity will increase with time. This thixotropic behavior of solution is an important property for the gelling system (i.e. anomalous rheological systems) and very useful in food. Like jelly, panna cotta, and jam in food, CMC gel and MCC-CMC gel can be used, or used in conjunction with natural gums.

Structure Leavening Effects

Since it has varying characteristics and gel stabilizing effects, on the one hand it can prevent syneresis, and on the other hand can increase the leavening rate. For example, when applied in instant noodles, during the operation,it can shorten the time of kneading flour, make the product uniform and the structure improved, in addition, easily control the water, can reduce the water supply amount and the required pressure by the flour roll, so that it does not or less appear noodle breaking situations and has excellent film-forming toughness. After noodles are steamed, the noodle body is bright and the surface smooth, without adhesion, distortion and browning after heating. Since it has stronger high viscosity, in the frying process, it can reduce the oil content of instant noodles by 3% to 5%.

Role in Improving the Physical Properties of Food

If sodium carboxymethyl cellulose is added into jam and cream, smearing property can be improved. Besides, sodium carboxymethyl cellulose can also be used for the preservation of fruits, vegetables and eggs. 2%-3% sodium carboxymethyl cellulose solution containing carboxybenzoate can be used in the coating and drying of fruits, vegetables and eggs in order to keep the flavor and resist mildew, with preservation effects. It has strong swelling property after absorbing water, but it is not easy to digest, so can be used for biscuits and act as diet food. It has the stabilizing property, so can be used for the foam stabilizer in beer. It also has viscosity, stability and protective colloid property, etc., can be used in ice cream to improve the water retention and tissue, but the effect can be better when used in combination with thickeners such as sodium alginate. In addition, it can also be used as such solid agents as powdered fat and spices.

Compounding Functions

Sodium carboxymethyl cellulose can be compound used with various other stabilizers (xanthan gum, guar gum, carrageenan, starch, maltodextrin, etc.), and has synergistic interaction. Generally speaking, if you want to improve water retention and prevent crystallization, sodium alginate or gelatin can be selected to make cakes delicate, smooth, delicious and with good melting resistance, and can be compounded with carrageenan or guar gum.


The refined sodium carboxymethyl cellulose has early been recognized as a safe substance by the FAO and WHO (with an acceptable daily intake of 30mg /kg per person).