Label Logic: Learn the Truth About Cellulose Gum

Learn the Truth About Cellulose Gum
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Written by Joann Klinkner

Cellulose is the main compound that makes up the outer wall of green plant cells. It is one of the most common organic compounds on Earth.

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Is Cellulose Gum Good for you?

Cellulose gum seems easy enough to pronounce. And typically the things in foods that are bad for you are hard to pronounce, right? Cellulose gum is also known as Carboxymethyl cellulose. Try saying that three times fast, and then ask yourself how safe it really is for you!

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Cellulose gum is generally used in food as a thickening, emulsifying, and stabilizing agent. Due to its high viscosity, or thickness, cellulose gum is also found in products like toothpaste, laundry detergent (it works as a suspension liquid to remove stains from natural fabrics), water-based paints, diet pills, and laxatives. It can also be found as a lubricating element in eye drops (artificial tears).

Cellulose gum is a polymer derived from cellulose. Cellulose is the main compound that makes up the outer wall of green plant cells. It is one of the most common organic compounds on Earth. Cellulose gum is synthesized through an alkalai-stimulated reaction between cellulose and chloroacetic acid.

Confusing, right? Simply put, cellulose and chloroacetic acid (which is a result of the chlorinization of acetic acid) react with each other to form cellulose gum when alkali (a salt) is used as a catalyst. Nobody ever said chemistry was easy!

Cellulose gum has an E number of E466.  E numbers are basically a food additive safety measuring scale used in the EU (European Union). Every food additive is assigned an E number. The European Food Safety Authority then deems them as N/A (permitted food additions), unpermitted (inconclusive test data to prove any harm), dangerous (may be harmful for people with diseases), and forbidden (proven beyond a doubt to cause disease). Cellulose gum is classified as N/A, meaning it is approved for use as a food additive.

Dangerous or Not

There isn’t any conclusive evidence out there that proves cellulose gum is particularly harmful for us. It’s always best to consume foods with the most natural ingredients that are not the result of chemical reactions, but if you see cellulose gum on a particularly healthy nutrition label, don’t shy away from it by any means. It is technically considered a food additive, but not on a dangerous scale.

Identity Magazine is all about empowering women to get all A’s in the game of life — Accept. Appreciate. Achieve.TM Every contributor and expert answer the Identity 5 questions in keeping with our theme. Their answers can be random and in the moment or they can be aligned with the above article. As a team, we hope to inspire and motivate ourselves and inspire you to get all A’s.

1. What have you accepted within your life, physically and/or mentally? What are you still working on accepting?

I’ve accepted that I might not achieve everything that I want in life, and that’s ok. I do the best that I can to achieve the goals I’ve set for myself, but some things may just be out of my control. All I can do is my best, and let the chips fall where they may. I’ve become pretty accepting of a lot of things in my old age (haha), so it’s hard to say what I’m still working on accepting.  

2. What have you learn to appreciate about yourself and/or within your life, physically and mentally? What are you still working on to appreciate?

I appreciate my sense of self. Not many people can say they are 100%  comfortable with themselves, or that they truly know who they are. I know who I am at this moment, but I also recognize that my sense of self is always evolving, and I just kind of go with the flow and try to be my true self as often as possible.

3. What is one of your most rewarding achievements in life? What makes YOU most proud? What goals and dreams do you still have?

At the moment, I’m most proud of completing my 200-hour yoga teacher training and becoming an RYT-200 certified yoga instructor. I’m also extremely proud of myself for making a career move that was a bit risky. I left my job in advertising to go work for the local county library system, and it turned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. It was intimidating to leave the comfort of a job I had for 9 years, but the difference in my quality of life…it’s immeasurable.  

4. We all have imperfections, so we think. The truth–we are all perfectly imperfect. What are your not-so-perfect ways? What imperfections and quirks create who you are–your Identity?

I might be the most forgetful person you’ve ever met. I know this about myself, and I also know the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree, because my mom is the most forgetful person I know (next to myself). I chalk it up to genes, but really there are things I can do to improve my memory, I just get too lazy to put the effort in.  

5. “I Love My…” is an outlet for you to express and appreciate all the positive traits that make you…well… YOU! Sharing what you love about yourself will make you smile, feel empowered, and uplift your spirit and soul. (we assure you!) Identity challenges you to complete the phrase “I Love My…?”

I love my sense of gratitude. I wasn’t always a grateful person, but certain life experiences will really put things into perspective for you. Not a day goes by that I don’t count my blessings and realize that all I have in life is enough for me to feel fulfilled. After all, it’s not a happy person who is thankful, but rather a thankful person that is happy.  


About the author

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Joann Klinkner

Identity writer Joann DiFabio-Klinkner holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Ramapo College in Communication Arts and is currently employed at Torre Lazur McCann, a pharmaceutical advertising agency, where she is a digital imaging associate. Having a long-standing interest in health and wellness, Joann has developed a passion for and deep knowledge-base of food and nutrition over the years. She currently writes the Spotlight On… and Label Logic articles for Identity, and enjoys cooking in her free time.

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