Danisco ups cellulose gum capacity in China

By Jess Halliday

- Last updated on GMT

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Danisco has announced the latest in a string of capacity upgrades at its cellulose gum facility in China, in response to increasing demand from the food and oral care industries.

The Danish ingredients and biotech firm, which is currently the subject of an acquisition bid by DuPont, entered the market for cellulose gum in 2006. The hydrocolloid, which also goes by the name carboxymethyl cellulose, or CMS, is used as a thickener, stabiliser, binder, film-former and suspending agent.

The new capacity at Danisco’s plant in Zhangjiagang, China, will bring on board an additional 5,000 metric tonnes as of 2012. No indication has been given of the financial investment this has required.

It follows an earlier, 1,500 tonne expansion completed in 2009 to enable the launch of a new range of application-specific versions of the ingredient, all under the Grinsted brand.

The five application categories are: acidified and neutral dairy applications, in which it is used to stabilise milk proteins; beverages, for a smooth mouthfeel; bakery, to counter dryness; toothpaste, to improve texture and for added brightness; and miscellaneous, such as pharmaceutical applications.

Jean-Baptiste Dufeu, cellulose gum product manager, said the application-specific range is unique in the marketplace, and “the food industry has reacted positive” since its launch. The food industry is the largest user of Danisco’s cellulose gum.

Another possible use for the gum emerged last year, when research published in the journal Food Quality and Preference in 2010 found that cellulose gum outperformed other common gums, including guar, xanthan, and arabic, in the masking of the astringent flavour of polyphenols in food formulations (Troszynska et al, 2010; doi: 10.1016/j.foodqual.2009.12.005).

Wide offering

Cellulose gum is water soluble, and is manufactured by reacting sodium monochloroacetate with alkali cellulose, to form sodium carboxymethylcellulose.

Aside from cellulose gum, Danisco’s hydrocolloids offering includes alginates, carrageenan, guar gum, locust bean gum, microcrystalline cellulose, pectin, xanthan gum, and blends made with emulsifiers and enzymes.

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