Cellulose gel, also known as Microcrystalline Cellulose (MCC) is a white, free flowing powder which is most commonly obtained from wood pulp. It is used as a stabilizer, thickener, bulking agent, emulsifier, texturant, suspending agent and fat substitute in pharmaceutical and food industries. Cellulose gel is a good source dietary fiber and adds little or no calories to the food it is added to. This makes it a valuable additive in the weight loss product segment. It is neither degraded nor absorbed by the human digestive system. Moreover, its stabilizing and thickening properties make it vital for the dairy segment. The production costs of ice cream have been greatly reduced by cellulose gel additive.
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Cellulose gel is manufactured from wood pulp and pure cotton cellulose which are bio products. The manufacturing process does not cause any environmental harm. Moreover, its effects on human body are also minimal, with allergic reactions very rare and poisoning due to excess ingestion in virtually unheard
Food grade cellulose gel also known as purified cellulose gel is safe for consumption and is used in the food and beverages industry. It has a purity of over 99.5% and meets the Food Chemicals Codex IV standards. Industrial grade or Crude cellulose gel is used as stabilizer, thickener, emulsifier in all end users except food industry. It is further segmented into, technical and semi-purified. They have a purity of less than 80% and 80-95% respectively.
Cellulose Gel Market Outlook
North America and Europe are the largest markets for cellulose gel. The addition of cellulose gel to food and drugs is approved by the US FDA, hence use of cellulose gel across end user industries has increased. Pharmaceutical and food industry are major drivers. Furthermore, with the rise of lifestyle diseases in this region weight management segment is projected to grow rapidly.
Asia Pacific is estimated to be the fastest growing market due to rising population in countries such as India, China, Indonesia and Philippines. These countries will drive food processing industry and will augment growth. Moreover, China and Japan are manufacturing hubs for cellulose gel and supply cellulose gel to North American and European markets.
Middle East is a slow growing market and is not expected to grow much in the forecast period. Though pharmaceutical industry has shown significant growth, slack growth in population has not resulted in food industry growth.
Major companies in the cellulose gel market are focusing on R&D to further explore market scope. The major players are FMC Corporation, Sigachi Industrial Pvt. Ltd., DFE Pharma GmbH & Co. KG, Libraw Pharma, Asahi Kasei Corporation, Juku Orchem Private Limited, Avantor Performance Materials, Inc., J. Rettenmaier & Söhne GmbH + Co KG Mingtai Chemical Co., Ltd., Blanver Farmoquímica Ltd and Accent Microcell Pvt. Ltd.
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