Cellulose gum, also known as carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC), is a thickening agent, stabilizer, and emulsifier used in a variety of food products, including protein powders. It is derived from cellulose, a naturally occurring polymer found in plants. Cellulose gum is produced by chemically modifying cellulose with carboxymethyl groups, which improves its water solubility and makes it more effective as a thickener.
In protein powders, cellulose gum is often used to improve the texture and mouthfeel of the product. It helps to prevent the powder from clumping together and provides a smooth, consistent texture. Additionally, cellulose gum can improve the stability and shelf life of protein powders by preventing separation of the ingredients.
Cellulose gum is generally considered safe for consumption in the amounts typically used in food products.