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E 468 Cross-linked sodium carboxymethyl cellulose, cross-linked cellulose gum

COMMISSION REGULATION (EU) No 231/2012 of 9 March 2012


Cross-linked carboxymethyl cellulose; Cross-linked CMC; Cross-linked sodium CMC;


Cross-linked sodium carboxymethyl cellulose is the sodium salt of thermally cross-linked partly O-carboxymethylated cellulose


Chemical name: Sodium salt of the cross-linked carboxymethyl ether cellulose

Chemical formula: The polymers containing substituted anhydroglucose units with the general formula:

C 6 H 7 O 2 (OR 1 )(OR 2 )(OR 3 ) where R 1 , R 2 and R 3 may be any of the following:

— H

— CH 2 COONa


Molecular weight:



Slightly hygroscopic, white to off white, odourless powder


Precipitate formation: Shake 1 g with 100 ml of a solution containing 4 mg/kg methylene blue and allow to settle. The substance to be examined absorbs the methylene blue and settles as a blue, fibrous mass

Colour reaction: Shake 1 g with 50 ml of water. Transfer 1 ml of the mixture to a test tube, add 1 ml water and 0,05 ml of freshly prepared 40 g/l solution of alpha-naphthol in methanol. Incline the test tube and add carefully 2 ml of sulphuric acid down the side so that it forms a lower layer. A reddish-violet colour develops at the interface

Test for sodium: Passes test

pH: Not less than 5,0 and not more than 7,0 (1 % solution)


Loss on drying: Not more than 6 % (105 °C, 3 hours)

Water soluble matter: Not more than 10 %

Degree of substitution: Not less than 0,2 and not more than 1,5 carboxymethyl groups per anhydroglucose unit

Sodium content: Not more than 12,4 % on anhydrous basis

Arsenic: Not more than 3 mg/kg

Lead: Not more than 2 mg/kg

Cadmium: Not more than 1 mg/kg

Mercury: Not more than 1 mg/kg