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MCC – How the Native Wood Pulp Became the Golden Powder?

Microcrystalline Cellulose is widely used in pharmaceuticals industries

With an arrayed utility, Microcrystalline Cellulose (MCC) – a crystalline white powder finds its place in high echelons of pharma, food & beverage, personal care, paints and coatings, and several other industries. Used basically as tableting excipients in pharma products, this product of cellulose depolymerization is basically churned out from natural cellulose. Unlike other cellulose materials, it has the maximum degree of dry binding properties, crystallinity, and density, thus making it one of the strongest binder in drug formulations. It’s a chemical miracle that catapults MCC to the ranks of certain chemicals and substance that are widely sought after. This odourless, and non-fibrous micro particle has directly impacted the economies of pharma companies especially due to its properties to produce large batches of tablets by Direct Compression.

A Snapshot of MCC’s Utility

Pharmaceutical MCC’s origin is from wood pulp wherein, cellulose chains are packed in layers held by lignin and strong Hydrogen bonds. Resulting from Cellulose Hydrolysis, MCC is generally considered as a diluent having the best binding properties and as most preferred DC binders due to its plasticity property. Let’s take a quick review of its properties:

  • Strongest binding effect
  • Self dis-integrating
  • Highly absorbent in body
  • Resistant to various chemicals like Amylase, etc.
  • Binds together with Lactose
  • Possess low lubrication
  • Highly plastic in nature


These properties of MCC along with agglomeration (particle size distribution) and Moisture Content determine the commercial grades to which they fit in. Surprisingly, this best binder diluent is also a self-disintegrator as well due to its low lubricant requirement. Due to its self-disintegration property, MCC coated tablets get easily absorbed in the body. Moreover, due to its chemical configuration, MCC is resistant to Amylase attacks.

Due to all these high-end characteristics, global excipient manufacturers are offering their customers both lactose and MCC products for the development of pharma products. With the rapid growth of MCC utilities, its effects are sensed across food and beverage industry as well.


The Future MCC Market

Right from using it as a preservative to anti-caking agents to become the most sought after adhesive choice in drug and pharma industry to cosmetics, MCC can be termed as the golden powder that is here to stay and reign in not any specific industry but across several industry verticals. Apparently, the global MCC market outreach is expected to reach around $1080 million by 2020 owning enormously to the R & D investment by the pharma industry and others as well. In the coming years, the rising demand for fat-free food across the globe is set to trigger the product demand across both pharma and food & beverage industry. Based on numerous utility, end-user, region, and source, MCC market size is pegged on the MCC manufacturing expertise making it quite costly. Certain market substitutes like guar gum, xanthan gum, and etc are likely to hamper the overall MCC market size. Additionally, rising environmental concerns have led to product development by other sources that are perceived as the next source of MCC. Despite all these, this golden powder is chugging its way to its rightful share of the market and thereby become the undisputed powder that it is.