GMO COMPASS - Information on genetically modified organisms
  Mar 27, 2017 | 10:21 pm
Site Search

Searches all of GMO-Compass in an instant

Stakeholder input wanted: survey on research needs for assessing GMO impacts 

Shaping the Future of GMO Research

Stakeholder with interests in the risk and/or benefit assessment of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO’s) are invited to take part in an online survey.

The aim of this survey is to identify which research needs should be prioritised, thereby contributing to the commissioning of research on the health, environment and economic impacts of GMOs.

The survey will close on 15th July 2015.

More information and access to the online survey

The setting-up of this website was financially supported by the European Union within the European Commission’s Sixth Framework Programme from 1 January 2005 until 28 February 2007.

The European Commission and other EU agencies are not responsible for the content.
See what’s what.
The GMO Food Database
The GMO Food Database.
You want to know for which food products or plants gene technology plays a role?

Then enter here the name of a plant, foodstuff, ingredient or additive:

Database search
All database entries in overview:
Ingredients and additives
Additives according to E numbers

Please note that the GMO Compass Database currently is being expanded and updated. Please check back for new entries.

Sign up to receive regular updates on GM food quality and safety.
To change or cancel your subscription, please enter your email above.
Comments, suggestions or questions?
Please contact us at
Change font size
1 2 3



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



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.


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]

© 2017 by GMO Compass. All rights reserved. | Imprint | website created by webmotive