Microcrystalline cellulose (MCC) is a term for refined wood pulp and is used as a texturizer, an anti-caking agent, a fat substitute, an emulsifier, an extender, and a bulking agent in food production. The most common form is used in vitamin supplements or tablets. It is also used in plaque assays for counting viruses, as an alternative to carboxymethylcellulose.
Microcrystalline cellulose is prepared by acid hydrolysis of cellulose using 2 M hydrochloric acid at 105 °C for 15 min. The highly reactive amorphous regions selectively hydrolyze, releasing the crystallites, which are subsequently mechanically dispersed.
MCC has use in cosmetics as an abrasive, absorbent, anti-caking agent, aqueous viscosity increasing agent, binder, bulking agent, emulsion stabilizer, slip modifier, and texturizer, which can be found in various hair and skin care products as well as makeup. Moreover, The MCC is a valuable additive in pharmaceutical, food, cosmetic and other industries. Different properties of MCC are measured to qualify its suitability to such utilization, namely particle size, density, compressibility index, angle of repose, powder porosity, hydration swelling capacity, moisture sorption capacity, moisture content, crystallinity index, crystallite size, and mechanical properties such as hardness and tensile strength.