Cellulose

Definition - What does Cellulose mean?

Cellulose is a molecule found in the cellular structure of almost all plants. It is made up of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, and it is considered to be the most abundant organic (carbon-based) compound in the world. This compound provides strength and structure to a plant's cell walls, and it is the source of dietary fiber.

MaximumYield explains Cellulose

Chemically speaking, cellulose is a complex carbohydrate that provides a source of energy for living organisms.

Cellulose has a number of uses due to its unique structure and chemical makeup.

  • Because it is a complex carbohydrate that takes longer to burn off than simple carbohydrates (e.g., sugars), cellulose has become a very popular additive to a number of different foods.
  • Cellulose is added to foods as a preservative. Many pre-packaged cheeses contain cellulose because it works as an anti-clumping agent.
  • Cellulose is added to foods as a fiber supplement and as a means to add volume to specific recipes without significantly raising their caloric values. Foods that have cellulose added to them will generally make you feel fuller without eating a lot more calories.
  • When combined with water, cellulose will tend to thicken into a gel, making it a good additive for stabilizing, thickening, and emulsifying pre-packaged foods and beverages, such as pre-made milkshakes, sauces, whipped cream, and other products.
  • Cellulose is also used in the production of paper and paperboard products, as well as rayon, cellophane, and other similar products.

When you see dietary fiber on the ingredients list of foods or beverages, then it is very likely that they have cellulose in them, either naturally or as an additive.

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