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Methylcellulose or Methocel is a gelling agent derived from bark. Methylcellulose has a unique property in creating the only true hot jellies, which then melt as they cool. Methylcellulose can be used as a thickener in sauces and dressings and as a thickener and stabiliser in ice cream; methylcelluolse helps prevent ice crystals from forming during freezing.

Methylcellulose can be used:

  • To create hot "ice creams"
  • Noodles can be made by piping into hot liquid
  • Add to mashed potato to form chips that are crunchy on the outside but light and fluffy on the inside
  • Added to mayonnaise and deep fried.

Overview of Methylcellulose's Characteristics

Category Comments
Applications Foam formation and stabilisation, film formation, hot gels which melt upon cooling and in the mouth.
Rate of hydration Methylcellulose dissolves in cold water, initially dispersing in water above 70oC (158oF)
Gel strength Varied
Colour White powder
Solubility Cold
pH solubility 3.0 - 11.0
Dosage 0.5 - 2.0%
Temperature range Hot gels when heated above 45oC (113oF), with a meltback point of 15oC (59oF)
Film forming Capable of making a solid, flexible and transparent film for use as a wrapper for petit fours or to add an extra dimension to recipes