- Carboxymethyl cellulose
Carboxymethyl cellulose, or CMC, is a
cellulosederivative with carboxymethyl groups (-CH2-COOH) bound to some of the hydroxylgroups of the glucopyranose monomers that make up the cellulose backbone.
The functional properties of CMC depend on the degree of substitution of the cellulose structure (i.e., how many of the hydroxyl groups have taken part in the substitution reaction), as well as the chain length of the cellulose backbone structure.
CMC is used in
food scienceas a viscositymodifier or thickener, and to stabilize emulsions, for instance in ice cream. It has E numberE466. It is also a constituent of many non-food products, such as K-Y Jelly, toothpaste, laxatives, diet pills, water-based paints, detergents, and various paperproducts. They have high viscosity, are not toxic, and are generally non-allergenic. CMC is used as a lubricantin non-volatile eye drops (artificial tears). Sometimes it is methylcellulose(MC) which is used, but its non-polar methylgroups (-CH3) do not add any solubility or chemical reactivity to the base cellulose.
* [http://www.lsbu.ac.uk/water/hycmc.html CMC chemical structure and properties]
* [http://aic.stanford.edu/sg/bpg/annual/v01/bp01-04.html MC and CMC: commercial preparations and various uses, including paper conservation; bibliography]
* [http://www.healthopedia.com/drugs/quick/carboxymethylcellulose CMC use in eye drops]
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