Hydrocolloids, or gums, are substances consisting of hydrophilic, long-chain and high molecular weight molecules often with colloidal properties. In water-based systems, they take on different states and their primary purpose is thickening and/or gelation. Secondary functionalities include emulsifying, whipping, suspending, and encapsulating.

     Hydrocolloids are added to various food systems for a variety of reasons:

1). Influence the texture and mouthfeel;

2). Improve or increase the stability; and

3). Reduce fat or calories.

Below is a functionality comparison chart for the major hydrocolloids:

Ampak offers a wide portfolio of hydrocolloids from some of the world’s leading manufacturers, including:

Carrageenan – produced by Martsons Food Corporation (MFC), based in the Philippines. Their brand names are MART-Sol and MART-Gel and they manufacture both refined and semi-refined carrageenans as an ISO 22000 certified manufacturer.

Click here to see the linecard for Martsons Food Corporation Carrageenans


Sodium Carboxymethyl Cellulose (CMC) – produced by Reliance Cellulosics, based in India. Their brand name is Carmecel and they manufacture a full range of CMC’s. These products offer very efficient thickening action in water solution, film forming ability, easy solubility, and good stability in a wide variety of Food, Pharmaceutical, Personal Care and Cosmetics, and Industrial applications. Their main functionality is as a texture modifier, thickener, or to stabilize emulsions.

Guar Gum – Ampak is one of the largest importers of guar gum into the United States and we source product from several different high quality manufacturers based in India and market it under our own brand.

Click here to see the linecard for Ampak's Guar Gum


Gum Arabic – Ampak also sources this product from various suppliers who purchase directly from the gum belt in Africa and process the raw tree exudate that comes from the acacia tree into various grades of gum Arabic. The gum's chemical components consist of both glycoproteins and polysaccharides, which gives it the consistency of glue and makes it a good stabilizer for both food and nonfood applications.  It is used as a very effective stabilizer and emulsifier and in the world of hydrocolloids, it builds the lowest amount of viscosity in solution.  It is used to bind food substances, to smoothen texture, and in flavor emulsions. The gum is used in soft drink syrups, chocolates candies, gummies, and marshmallows.

Locust Bean Gum – produced by LBG Sicilia of Italy. Locust Bean Gum (LBG) is a very versatile and functional hydrocolloid that is used alone or in combination with other gums for a wide variety of end-use applications. 

Click here to see the linecard for LBG Sicilia's Locust Bean Gum

Microcrystalline Cellulose (MCC) – produced by Reliance Cellulosics in India. Their MCC is sold under the Alfacel brand and is available in both MCC-101 and MCC-102 grades. For use in pharmaceutical and nutritional applications, MCC is the most widely used excipient for tableting and granulating purposes.

Click here to see the linecard for Reliance Cellulosics MCC

Xanthan Gum – sourced from several quality Chinese producers. Xanthan Gum is very unique in that it is made by fermenting corn sugar with bacteria. The result is a sticky and slimy substance that it then dried and ground into a fine white powder.  Xanthan gum has many beneficial functionalities in both food and nonfood applications including emulsification, thickening, water binding and the prevention of syneresis, and the prevention of ice crystal formation in ice creams and frozen desserts. Xanthan gum is often used in combination with other gums like locust bean gum or guar gum due to the functional synergies attained when used together.