Cellulose gum (Sodium carboxymethyl cellulose or CMC) is a thickening agent that is utilized in all kinds of modern food products starting from breads to dairy products. Cellulose gum is divided into food grade and industrial grade. Industrial grade is further divided into semi purified cellulose gum and technical grade cellulose gum. Cellulose gum is found to add volume and texture to food products. The Food and Drug Administration has permitted the use of cellulose gum in foods since around fifty years. Cellulose gum is mainly found in packaged foods; so it is considered and labelled as organic. Cellulose gum is used to prevent crystallization of sugar in ice cream and stabilizes the foam in beer. It is seen that many low fat products use this food additive to give a creamier and thicker effect, making it attractive to customers.
According to Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), this type of additive is considered to improve the texture, stabilize the foam, keep the sugar from crystallizing, and binds well with water. Cellulose gum generally comes from the cell walls of cotton seeds and wood pulp and makes foods creamier and increases the thickness of the food while also ensuring that it is of low fat content. Rising health consciousness, changing lifestyles, and inclination toward consuming low fat food is expected to drive the cellulose gum market during the forecast period. Cellulose gum is found to be versatile as it is not only used in food items but also in household products, pharmaceuticals and tooth paste, diet pills, detergents, sizing in textiles, and in many other paper products. Cellulose gum is found to be cost effectiveness and easily available and thus it is found in everything starting from yogurt to tortillas. Cellulose gum adds texture, stabilizes protein, retains the moisture, and forms an oil resistant film in the diversified array of food products that are processed.
In terms of geography, the cellulose gum market is segmented into Asia Pacific, North America, Europe, Middle East Africa, and Latin America. All these regions are showing remarkable growth in the cellulose gum market. Benefits of cellulose gum due to its stable performance especially in beverages and also its ability to improve the taste and enhance resistance to high temperatures is boosting the market of dairy blends products. Rising applications of cellulose gum in different food products from breads to dairy products is boosting the cellulose gum market. However, beyond these benefits, there are restraints to this market like allergic reactions. Cellulose gum also has a misconception that it is a fiber rich food; but according to CSPI, cellulose gum does not have as much fiber as natural foods. Also, rising number of substitutes of cellulose gum is creating a restraint to the market. Opportunities which are seen in this market are the growing end use industries in emerging economies and the increasing use of CMC for floatation process in mining.
Key players in the industry include Daicel Corporation, Nippon Paper Industries Co. Ltd., The DOW Chemical Company, Química Amtex S.A. De C.V, CP Kelco U.S., Inc. (Subsidiary of J.M. Huber Corporation Company), AKZO Nobel N.V, DKS Co. Ltd., and UGUR Seluloz Kimya A.S.
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