Hydroxypropyl methylcellulose is a white, odorless, tasteless powder made chemically through the modification of cellulose. Cellulose is a natural polymer – long chains or structures of many molecules. Gluten-free bread improves elasticity, stability, volume, and moisture retention. This makes a loaf more akin to gluten-containing bread (source: Study on effects of HPMC and CMC on the properties of gluten-free bread). Humans cannot digest hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, which passes through the digestive system. In the UK, it was submitted by Dow (who manufactures HPMC for the global food market) for approval to the Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes in November 2011. It is now an EU and FDA-approved food additive and is considered non-toxic to humans. It sounds great, right?
Moreover, for gluten-free food manufacturers, it must be a godsend. Softer bread, fewer holes, good color, greater volume. Everything you want in bread! However, several people have contacted me to say they cannot eat food that contains it. I have also found several forums online where people have made the connection between bloating, wind, and discomfort in eating foods (or supplements) that contain it. If you are on a gluten-free diet but still experiencing tummy discomfort, it might be worth checking whether this is in your food. You might also like to join my gluten-free diet course, where I help explore ingredients that may be causing ongoing symptoms. One particular manufacturer (naming no names, but one of the big ones) lists it as E464 without the full name… it is the same thing. I have not found a loaf of bread, roll, or sandwich thin that does not now contain this additive. If you are looking for high quality, high purity, and cost-effective Hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, or if you require the latest price of Hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, please feel free to email contact mis-asia.