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What You Should Know About Microcrystalline Cellulose

A few years ago, the headlines screamed about wood pulp found in your Parmesan cheese. People began freaking out, stunned that a filler called microcrystalline cellulose would actually be added to a cheese that folks like eating. Cellulose and its various kinds are a form of powdered wood pulp, and yes, the tasteless stuff is safe, won't harm your food, and it's legal. In fact, most of us have been unaware that cellulose has been used in food and supplements for many decades already.

Cellulose is a non-digestible plant fiber, and like eating bran flakes, this ingredient provides amazing, natural dietary fiber for the body. The refined product is most commonly used in the health food industry these days, especially in vitamin supplements or tablets. The cellulose offers stabilization and structure to these items (capsules) and also acts as a coating ingredient.

The unique compound has also shown value in helping people lose weight, according to several recent studies. Cellulose has zero calories, zero fat, a creamy smooth texture and can help you feel full faster. It also has the ability to reduce the absorption of other fat-triggering nutrients in the body. Manufacturers also like cellulose because it is extremely cheap to make, and other fattening ingredients can be eliminated from a food product and still taste rich and satisfying because of cellulose. An example of this would be a low-fat ice cream that retains that yummy feeling of a more decadent premium ice cream with regular fat.

Another reason that cellulose is favored as an additive to foods and supplements is for its anti-spoilage factor. The ingredient has a natural dryness to it, making it ideal for absorbing moisture in various foods like baked goods. That way, the product resists spoiling or developing a “slimy” texture to it. Even major organic food companies use cellulose without compromising their products because it repels moisture and is better than adding potato starch, for instance.

Microcrystalline cellulose is one of the most common forms of cellulose used as a food additive. You can find it listed on labels as MCC. It is also called cellulose gel in some cases.

Despite all the crazy rumors and sensational headlines, cellulose is safe and fine for the human body. Think about it; cellulose is in every plant food in the universe. It comprises the basic structure of plant cell walls and is the most abundant organic compound on Earth.

As some scientists like to say, “Cellulose is cellulose,” regardless of whether it comes from wood pulp or celery.

note: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Check out our supplements section for more information. 

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