Microfibrillated cellulose, a new cellulose product: properties, uses, and commercial potential
Microfibrillated cellulose, a new cellulose product: properties, uses, and commercial potential A new form of cellulose, which is expanded to a smooth gel when dispersed in polar liquids, is produced by a unique, rapid, physical treatment of wood cellulose pulps. A 2% suspension of microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) in water has thixotropic viscosity properties and is a stable gel on storage, or when subjected to freeze-thaw cycles. At this concentration, MFC is an excellent suspending medium for other solids and an emulsifying base for organic liquids. In laboratory tests, microfibrillated cellulose has been demonstrated to have wide utility in the preparation of foods such as low-calorie whipped toppings, cake frostings, salad dressings, gravies, and sauces. At 0.3% cellulose concentration in ground meats, MFC helps retain juices during cooking. Tests were also conducted in formulating paints, emulsions, and cosmetics and in the use of MFC as a binder for nonwoven textiles and as a mineral suspending agent. From economic studies, it is estimated that a 2% MFC dispersion can be produced for about 1.5 cents/lb, total cost. 6 references, 9 figures, 2 tables.
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