Ever-Increasing Use Of Microcrystalline Cellulose In Pharmaceutical Industry

Posted by celluloseether on January 16th, 2014

Especially used in pharmaceutical industries Microcrystalline cellulose is a term for refined wood pulp which is used as a texturizer, an anti-caking agent. It is a fat substitute, an emulsifier, an extender, and a bulking agent in food production. You will find most common use of this naturally occurring polymer in manufacturing of vitamin supplements or tablets. Moreover it is also used in plaque assays for counting viruses, as a substitute to carboxymethylcellulose.

Microcrystalline Cellulose (MCC) is an ideal choice for excipient. As a naturally occurring polymer, it is composed of glucose units connected by a 1-4 beta glycosidic bond. It is a refined wood pulp, visible as a white, free-flowing powder. Its main use in pharmaceuticals is due to its quality of being an inert substance. Since it is not degraded during digestion and has no appreciable absorption, the use is excellent as compressibility properties form solid dose such as tablets that are hard but dissolve quickly. In fact it has revolutionized the manufacturing of tablet creation helping the pharmaceutical industry to a great extent. It has a unique compressibility and carrying capacity and exhibits excellent properties as an excipient for solid dosage forms. As it compacts well under minimum compression pressures, with its high binding capability, it is possible to create tablets that are extremely hard, stable, yet disintegrate rapidly.

You may notice that Microcrystalline Cellulose is also found in many processed food products. It may be used as an anti-caking agent, stabilizer, texture modifier, or suspending agent among other uses. As a naturally occurring substance, it has proven to be stable, safe and physiologically inert. It gives a laxative effect when taken in large quantities. Moreover it also serves as a dietary bulk helpful in weight loss.

Other advantages of this naturally occurring substance include low friability, inherent lubricity, and the highest dilution potential of all binders. Because of such properties it is particularly valuable as a filler and binder for formulations prepared by direct compression. You may use it in any form such as wet or dry for granulation and for spheronisation/pelletisation.

The cellulose gel or MCC widely used derives from one of nature’s most abundant organic resources, cellulose. It may be added to a wide range of foods. It functions to keep sauces, desserts, soups in a stable form which can otherwise pose a challenge. Microcrystalline cellulose is a really versatile product used in lab and it ranges among the most agile of substances due to its ease of compressibility and absorption.


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Joined: January 16th, 2014
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