Inside Scoop on Hydrocolloids


Food and nutrition hydrocolloids

Average read time: 3 minutes

Hydrocolloids are functional carbohydrates used in many foods to enhance their shelf-life and quality. These additives are used to modify the viscosity and texture of food products like ice cream, salad dressings, gravies, processed meats, and beverages. They are chiefly used to modify the rheology of the food system, specifically viscosity and texture.

A colloid is a type of mixture where one substance is dispersed evenly throughout another. A hydrocolloid is a colloid system where the colloidal particles are dispersed in water. Hydrocolloids may be reversible or irreversible, which means they can fluctuate between a gel-state and a solid-state; many are naturally derived. While some hydrocolloids are used independently, many are used in tandem with one another to provide the optimum result within the formulation.

Cellulose, a linear polysaccharide, is the most common organic compound on earth derived from cotton and wood pulp. Cellulosics are universally used in food products for their unique functional attributes. Cellulose ethers provide food & nutrition formulators with rheological and performance benefits in an array of applications from beverages, bakery items, confectionery, frozen products, and more.

Download our Hydrocolloids Product List

Lamb shank with mashed potatoes

Hydrocolloids provide man functions in food products


  • Adhesion
  • Binding
  • Emulsification
  • Stabilization
  • Texture modification
  • Thickening


  • Dietary fiber source
  • Encapsulation
  • Film forming
  • Suspension
  • Thermo-gelation
  • Water binding

Japanese Strawberry Shortcake

Featured hydrocolloids

  • Carboxymethyl Cellulose (CMC)
  • Carrageenan
  • Guar Gum
  • Gum Arabic
  • Gum Tragacanth
  • Hydroxypropyl Cellulose (HPC)
  • Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose (HPMC)
  • Locust Bean Gum
  • Methyl Cellulose (MC)
  • Pectin
  • Propylene Glycol Alginate
  • Sodium Alginate
  • Xanthan Gum

Bright, fruity fuchsia ice cream with wooden sticks on a dark surface. Close-up, top view. Tasty and healthy food concept

Looking for more information

As the food industry continues to move forward, advancements in technology are impacting the application of hydrocolloids and other ingredients commonly added to food systems.

If you're interesting in learning more about hydrocolloids, take a few minutes to read our guide to Hydrocolloids Food Additives.

Read our Guide to Hydrocolloids

Get in contact to discuss hydrocolloids

Confused about hydrocolloids or need help with an application? Allow us to help you select the right hydrocolloid combinations that will improve the look, feel, value, and lifespan of your food or beverage.

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