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Cellulose

 

E 460 | Thickening agent
Possible application of gene technology Labelling
Raw material GM cotton yes

 

Description

Cellulose is a mixed material composed of many individual components. It forms the supporting structure of plant cells and therefore is present in all plants. Cellulose is indigestible to humans.

As a rule, cellulose is won from "Linters". These very short fibres cannot be spun and accumulate as a by-product of cotton. Linters are composed almost exclusively of cellulose. They are cleansed for use in foodstuff: impurities are separated.

Application

Purified cellulose is generally approved for use in foodstuffs and is applied:

Numerous enzymatically modified derivatives (cellulose gum) may be produced from cellulose. These may be used as emulgators, stabilisers and thickening agents in numerous foodstuffs:

  • methylcellulose E461, hydroxypropylcellulose E463, hydroxypropylmethylcellulose E464, ethylmethylcellulose E465, carboxymethylcellulose E 466, crosslinked natriumcarboxymethylcellulose E468, enzymatically hydrolysed carboxymethylcellulose E469

Gene technology

Cellulose is a by-product of cotton production

  • GM-cotton is grown on a large scale in many countries and primarily in the USA, China and India. One may assume that a certain portion of cotton raw materials stem from GM plants.

  • In the EU, numerous GM cotton plants are approved for use as food and feed. Cellulose and other additives derived from these GM cotton plants also are approved.

EU labelling: cellulose is subject to labelling if it has been produced directly from genetically modified cotton.

Whether this regulation also applies to the chemically modified cellulose derivates E461 - E469 has not been ultimately clarified.

 

November 10, 2005 [nach oben springen]

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