Functionality and nutritional aspects of microcrystalline cellulose in food

Carbohydr Polym. 2017 Sep 15;172:159-174. doi: 10.1016/j.carbpol.2017.04.021. Epub 2017 Apr 14.


Microcrystalline cellulose (MCC) is among the most commonly used cellulose derivatives in the food industry. In order assess the recent advances of MCC in food product development and its associated nutraceutical implications, google scholar and database of journals subscribed by Jiangnan university, China were used to source literature. Recently published research articles that reported physicochemical properties of MCC for food application or potential application in food and nutraceutical functions were reviewed and major findings outlined. The selected literature reviewed demonstrated that the material has been extensively explored as a functional ingredient in food including meat products, emulsions, beverages, dairy products, bakery, confectionary and filling. The carbohydrate polymer also has many promising applications in functional and nutraceutical food industries. Though widely used as control for many dietary fiber investigations, MCC has been shown to provide positive effects on gastrointestinal physiology, and hypolipidemic effects, influencing the expression of enzymes involved in lipid metabolism. These techno-functional and nutraceutical properties of MCC are influenced by the physicochemical of the material, which are defined by the raw material source and processing conditions. Apart from these functional properties, this review also highlighted limitations and gaps regarding the application of material in food and nutritional realms. Functional, Nutritional and health claims of MCC.

Keywords: Dietary fiber; Functional ingredient; Microcrystalline cellulose; Physicochemical properties; Prebiotics.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cellulose / chemistry*
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Food*
  • Functional Food


  • Cellulose
  • microcrystalline cellulose