Anti-caking agents such as JELUCEL® cellulose are indispensable in the food industry. They are used as anti-sticking agents for confectionery, as anti-clumping agents in cheese processing and as free-flow agents in the manufacture and processing of powdered foodstuffs. JELUCEL® is an organic anti-caking agent that consists of pure powdered cellulose. As a food additive, cellulose is labelled with E 460.
Free-flow agent for powdered products
For powdered food products, such as instant soups, spices and salt, to be able to flow freely, a free-flow agent is necessary because some powders tend to clump. This is due to the cohesive forces between the particles. How strong the cohesive forces are, depends on size, surface structure and size distribution of the particles. Generally, the following is true:
- The finer the powder, the stronger the cohesive forces.
- The more inhomogeneous the powder is in grain size distribution, the higher the tendency to clump.
Other factors that may strengthen cohesive attraction are humidity, pressure and temperature. The humidity in the ambient air causes moisture bridges to form between the particles, which then form lumps. The packaging of many powder products has a humidity barrier to protect the powder against moisture from ambient air. Due to high temperature variations during transport, for example, the residual moisture in the powder may evaporate and condense on the inside of the packaging material. The powder combines with the condensate and forms lumps. Loose powder products in bags are stacked on top of each other for transport. The pressure exerted on the powder in combination with the vibration impairs powder stability.
JELUCEL® cellulose powder surrounds the particles of the powdered foodstuff, separating the single grains from each other. The contact points and the cohesive forces between the particles are reduced substantially. In addition, the powdered cellulose absorbs moisture so that hygroscopic products, such as salt and sugar, do not form lumps even after long storage or high temperature variations.
Improved flow characteristics
Using JELUCEL® improves the flow characteristics of the products, bringing many benefits to production and storage:
- Easy handling
- Better silo discharge
- Precise dosage
- Higher storage stability
- Higher throughput
- Fewer production interruptions
- Reduced maintenance
- Better product quality
- Fewer rejects
- Higher customer satisfaction
The natural anti-caking agent JELUCEL® ensures that powdered foodstuffs retain their flow characteristics during production and processing. Free-flowing powders lead to increased production capacity because they are easier to process. They retain their free-flowing capability during processing and do not clump. As a consequence, downtimes and even maintenance effort caused by clogged machines are reduced. The quality of the products is increased, and the cost of rejects is decreased. This pays off for manufacturers and customers alike because the consumer receives a high-quality product that flows from the packaging as fine grains even after months in storage.
Anti-sticking agent and anti-clumping agent
In the case of confectionery and cheese, JELUCEL® acts as anti-sticking agent and anti-clumping agent. With the help of cellulose powder, sweets, wine gums and chewing gum do not form a lump even at high temperatures. With convenience products, such as cheese, powdered cellulose ensures that packaged cheese slices can be well separated from each other and grated cheese can be evenly distributed. Cellulose can also be used as a carrier substance for other food additives. Moreover, JELUCEL® has product properties that are ideal for usage in food technology:
- Chemically inert
- Neutral in colour
- Available as powder or fibre
- Made from vegetable raw materials
Due to its product properties, our JELUCEL® cellulose can be used in a very versatile manner in the food industry. For information on the different applications, see our application pages. JELUCEL® is available in the following 4 grades:
- JELUCEL® PF – cellulose
- JELUCEL® BF – bamboo fibres
- JELUCEL® WF – wheat fibres
- JELUCEL® OF – oat fibres
Want more information on using JELUCEL® as an anti-caking agent?