Microcrystalline cellulose is a term for refined wood pulp and is used as a texturizer, an anti-caking agent, a fat substitute, an emulsifier, an extender, and a bulking agent in food production. The most common form is used in vitamin supplements or tablets. It is also used in plaque assays for counting viruses, as an alternative to carboxymethylcellulose.

Where Does Microcrystalline Cellulose Come From?

Some people are unsure about the thought of having “wood pulp” in food. However, microcrystalline cellulose is not created from recycled industrial pallets. In fact, MCC is carefully processed cellulose from wood or other tough plant parts such as sorghum, cotton linen or hemp.

Microcrystalline Cellulose in the Pharmacy

If you browse through your bathroom cabinet, you’ll most likely find pills and tablets with microcrystalline cellulose as an inactive ingredient . Just a few of these include :





Personal care products may contain microcrystalline cellulose, too. Microcrystalline cellulose is inert on its own and easy to compress. This makes it a perfect ingredient for pharmaceutical products. Technically, microcrystalline cellulose is an excipient — an inactive material that is used as a vehicle for an active substance. MCC adds bulk to the active ingredient, allowing it to be consumed in a deliverable, dosed format. This granular white powder is compressed into tablets, but when it’s ingested, it breaks down easily.



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