De Complexiteit van Methylcellulose
Ondernemers sociëteit voedingsindustrie
B2B Communications
Wallbrink Crossmedia
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Methylcel­lulose: Misleading or indispensable?

  • 08 December 2023

In an era where food consciousness takes center stage, consumers aspire to embrace edibles adorned with a 'clean label': the fewer E-numbers or loaded ingredients adorning their food packages, the better. Yet, even in this pursuit of purity, boundaries exist. Some food additives are deemed indispensable. One such ubiquitous presence in various food items is methylcellulose (E461) – an ingredient currently facing scrutiny.

European consumers have harbored long-standing reservations about the use of specific food additives, such as glutamic acid (E620) and monosodium glutamate (E621). While scientific research attests to their safety, a segment of consumers reports complaints like headaches and stomach discomfort after consuming products adorned with these E-numbers.

Chasing the 'Clean Label' Dream

The quest for a 'clean label' transcends mere trendiness; it mirrors the escalating consumer apprehension towards intricate additives and E-numbers. However, what does a product look like sans methylcellulose, an ingredient increasingly finding its way into various edibles, from custard to vegan hot dogs?

According to food technologist Babet Waterink, “Methylcellulose provides a robust texture, imparting a satisfying bite to meat alternatives. Without methylcellulose, many fully vegan meat substitutes would verge on mushy, deterring consumers.” While gluten presents an alternative, a substantial subset of consumers exhibits allergies or adverse reactions to it.

Methylcellulose: The Enigma of Clean Labels

Recent critiques targeting methylcellulose, voiced in a riveting episode of Keuringsdienst van waarde, cast a shadow over the role of this ingredient. Is methylcellulose genuinely a deceptive additive surreptitiously "filling the bottle faster," as suggested in the broadcast? Or, as indicated by producers, is it an indispensable element crucial for the texture and structure of edibles, especially in vegan meat alternatives?

Source: TOP bv