New European labelling rules enforced in February this year for the additive - otherwise known as carboxymethylcellulose (CMC) - allow manufacturers to use an alternative name for CMC - 'cellulose gum' can replace CMC and E466 on food labels. The new rules were destined to put an end to consumer confusion between industrial and food grade CMC - an indirect impact is set to encourage a growth in sales.
The driving force behind the changes to the European directive 2003/114/EC came from the industry itself, which was keen to clarify the difference on labels betwen industrial and food grade CMC that they claim confused both consumers and food processors. CMC has a wide variety of applications from wallpaper glue to bakery products and the industry often faced confusion from food makers because the name was the same for all products.
Clearing up the confusion could help persuade food manufacturers to use cellulose gum rather than other thickeners or stabilisers in their applications and Milton Keynes-based Fiske will likely see the benefits.
"We are extremely proud to have met Noviant's stringent criteria. Its quality products and leadership position fits perfectly with our strategy of being a customer-focused, committed and innovative partner for the UK food industry," said David McCartney, Managing Director of Fiske UK owned by Dutch firm Univar.
Noviant, acquired in 2001 by US chemicals group Huber, is the world's biggest producer of CMC with a 30 per cent slice of the world market. Earlier this year Huber revealed further ambitions in the hydrocolloid marketplace buying up Hercules' 28.57 per cent stake in xanthan gum leader CP Kelco.
Sourced from cellulose fibre - wood pulp, cotton linters - the food additive cellulose gum is used in a wide range of food applications including ice cream, yoghurt, dairy drinks and processed food. Other functionalities for CMC products include water binding, film forming, dietary fibre, encapsulation and suspension.