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What is Hydroxypropyl Methyl Cellulose?

Jun. 30, 2021

What it is? Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose is a chemically modified cellulose polymer that is beige in color and is considered safe for human consumption. It is most commonly used to replace gelatin and bran in vegetarian products.

Common uses:

Gelatin substitute: It can be used as a substitute for gelatin because it is of vegetarian origin and has similar physical properties to gelatin. This is very useful if you need to make your own supplements, as it can help vegetarians and people with dietary restrictions to consume supplements and medications.

Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose

Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose

Gluten substitute: It is also a very good substitute for gluten in gluten-free foods. When baking bread, it limits "the diffusion and loss of water in the crumb and the interaction between starch and protein macromolecules," resulting in softer gluten-free bread and less stiffness during storage.

Other uses: It acts as a thickener, coating polymer, adhesive and bioadhesive in pharmaceutical, food and industrial production.

Is it safe? In an FDA study on rats, once HPMC reached levels of 20% to 30% in the diet of rats, there were no significant toxic effects except for growth retardation. This study indicated that the growth retardation may have been caused by malnutrition rather than the amount of HPMC. In another study, rabbits were injected with 2% HPMC for over a month and no toxicity or irritation was observed. Overall, the FDA considers it a non-toxic, non-irritating, inactive ingredient that is safe for human use and consumption.

Common sources of HPMC:


Supplement capsules

Drug carriers

Coating agents

Emulsifiers in ointments

Tablet preparations

Eye drops

Food products

Baked goods

Ice cream

Salad dressings


Industrial Products

Construction materials


Printing and dyeing of textiles

Paper manufacturing

We also offer Redispersible polymer powder, please feel free to contact us if you need them.

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