Sodium Carboxymethyl Cellulose?

by (715)
Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 10, 2013 at 2:41 AM

I went shopping at Trader Joes recently and saw they were selling coconut cream. Typically I buy the lite version but I figured I'd give this a shot. Unfortunately I forgot to read the ingredients before purchasing.

'coconut, xanthum gum, and sodium carboxymethyl cellulose'

xanthum gum doesn't do anything to my stomach, so i think i'm okay with that (unless anyone has any information as to why I shouldn't be) but the sodium carboxymethyl cellulose concerns me. i know cellulose itself is derived from plants, but this seems to be a synthesized alkalized derivative. i've never come across it before. the only thing i could really find about it was this study

link text

does anyone else know anything about it? is it okay i were to consume this weekly or should i stick with buying my lite coconut milk? I really hope the answer is it's safe because the coconut cream is absolutely delicious.

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2 Answers

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10501 · February 24, 2013 at 1:24 PM

CMC is made from dissolved wood pulp. The source woods for the cellulose are hardwood or softwood, with the lignin and short chain cellulose removed. The abstract of the linked thesis describes the process which converts the pulp to CMC: http://www.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:326030/FULLTEXT01 CMC is water soluble. It is an indigestible carbohydrate gum which is added to foods as a thickener and texturizer.

47 · February 10, 2013 at 10:45 AM

It's got an e number e466. It might not be gluten free, and it seems to be synthesised. This is from Wikipedia. In general it's just another vegetable gum which are pretty safe afaik.

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