Effective 15 April, the number one supplier of food-grade carrageenan said it would raise prices for its Avicel brand by 5 to 7 per cent on average, depending on the product line.
Unable to absorb price increases elsewhere in the production chain, the firm said the "action is necessitated by cost increases in raw materials, energy and packaging, which cannot be completely offset by FMC's vigorous and on-going efficiency and cost reduction efforts."
The Avicel family of microcrystalline cellulose (cellulose gel) products function as stabilisers, texturants, thickeners and suspending agents for food products.
According to FMC, they "mimick" the mouthfeel properties of fat, "highly beneficial when formulating lower and no fat foods."
In water, with shear, microcrystalline cellulose forms a three-dimensional matrix comprised of millions of insoluble microcrystals that form a stable, thixotropic gel.
"Avicel microcrystalline cellulose functions at any temperature and provides superior freeze/thaw and heat stability to finished products," says the US firm.
FMC BioPolymer markets its Avicel products for the food industry under five trade names: Avicel microcrystalline cellulose, Avicel-plus microcrystalline cellulose, Gelstar stabilisers and Novagel microcrystalline cellulose.
Last month FMC hiked up prices for its carrageenan gum by up to 8 per cent.