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What is Cellulose?
What is Cellulose and how is it used in food?
By Bethany Moncel, About.com Guide
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Cellulose is a molecule comprised of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, and is found in the cellular structure of virtually all plant matter. This organic compound, which is considered the most abundant on earth, is even excreted by some bacteria.
Cellulose provides structure and strength to the cell walls of plants and provides fiber in our diets. Although some animals, such as ruminants, can digest cellulose, humans cannot. Cellulose falls into the category of indigestible carbohydrates known as dietary fiber.
In recent years, cellulose has become a popular food additive due to its unique chemical and physical properties when combined with water. Although cellulose can be found in most plant matter, the most economical sources for industrial cellulose are cotton and wood pulp.
How is Cellulose Used in Food?
Fiber Supplement - With rising awareness about fiber intake, cellulose has become one of the most popular food additives. Adding cellulose to food allows an increase in bulk and fiber content without a major impact on flavor. Because cellulose binds and dissolves into water, it is often added to increase the fiber content of drinks and other liquid items when the gritty texture of regular...
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