Look in your medicine cabinet and you will probably find at least one bottle of acetaminophen, known typically by the brand name Tylenol. If you have ever taken Tylenol, you have also ingested microcrystalline cellulose, a refined wood pulp. Why would the pharmaceutical industry incorporate wood pulp into tablets and pills? Microcrystalline cellulose is an excipient, or an inactive ingredient added to bulk up an active ingredient to allow exact dosages of each medicine within tablet form. This granular white ingredient forms into hard tablets that dissolve quickly in a solvent, which makes it ideal for medicinal purposes. Microcrystalline cellulose can also be used as a texturizer, a substitute for fat, in plaque assays to count viruses, as a stabilizer, a bulking agent in processed food production, an anti-caking agent, an emulsifier, and an extender.
How does microcrystalline cellulose differ from standard cellulose? Although cellulose is Earth’s most abundant organic material, microcrystalline cellulose must be derived via high quality wood pulp before it can be distributed by an Orlando chemical supply company and used in pharmaceuticals. This refinement of microcrystalline cellulose meets United States Pharmacopeia standards, and is approved for use in medicines. Microcrystalline cellulose 102 consists mainly of single cellulose fibers. While other substances may also be used as binders for pharmaceuticals, microcrystalline cellulose has proven to be less friable, smoother to swallow in tablet form, and has the potential to maintain its compressed form when diluted with another material.
The pharmaceutical industry is not alone in its utilization of this odorless, tasteless, white powder. Many foods contain microcrystalline cellulose for stability, especially soups, sauces, and other substances requiring consistent semi-liquid textures. Another use for microcrystalline cellulose is as an anti-caking agent in many products as well as a dietary fiber. Also, whipped toppings and icings sometimes replace fats (as in many reduced-fat foods) with microcrystalline cellulose. As molecular gastronomy increases in popularity, many inventive chefs are turning to Orlando chemical supply companies to purchase microcrystalline cellulose.
At our Orlando chemical supply company, microcrystalline cellulose is just one of the many chemical products we offer. In addition to nutritional chemical products, we stock many hard to find tech-grade chemicals and custom compounds. Our chemicals are used in a wide range of applications such as health and nutrition, personal rare care materials, pharmaceuticals, coatings, and industrial applications. Call us at 407-339-BELL (2355) for a full list of our chemical products.