Brief Introduction of Hydroxypropyl Methyl Cellulose


Hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC) is a synthetic polymer derived from cellulose. It is commonly used in pharmaceuticals, food products, and personal care products. The popularity of HPMC as a material for various applications is due to its non-toxic, non-irritating, and non-allergic properties.

Physical and Chemical Properties:

HPMC is a white to off-white, odorless, and tasteless powder that is soluble in water and most organic solvents. The molecular weight of HPMC ranges from 10,000 to 1,500,000 g/mol, depending on the degree of substitution (DS) of the hydroxypropyl and methyl groups. HPMC is available in various grades, depending on the viscosity of the solution at a specific concentration.


Pharmaceuticals: In the pharmaceutical industry, HPMC is used as a binder, disintegrant, emulsifier, and thickener in tablets, capsules, and ointments. The controlled-release properties of HPMC make it a suitable material for sustained-release formulations.

Food products: In food products, HPMC is used as a thickener, stabilizer, and emulsifier. It is commonly used in low-fat or reduced-calorie foods to improve the texture and mouthfeel of the product.

Personal care products: HPMC is used in personal care products such as shampoos, creams, and lotions as a thickener, emulsifier, and binder. It improves the viscosity and stability of the product.

Other applications: HPMC is used as a coating material in the paper and textile industry. It is also used in the construction industry as a water-retention agent and as a thickener in paints and coatings.


HPMC has several advantages over other materials used in various applications. It is non-toxic, non-irritating, and non-allergic, making it a safe material for use in pharmaceuticals and personal care products. It is also easy to process, has good adhesion, and can be easily modified to suit different applications.


The main limitation of HPMC is its sensitivity to moisture. It can absorb moisture from the environment, which can affect its physical properties and lead to changes in the performance of the product. HPMC is also sensitive to pH changes and can gel at high pH values, which can limit its use in certain applications.


HPMC is a versatile material that finds application in various industries due to its non-toxic, non-irritating, and non-allergic properties. Its controlled-release properties make it a suitable material for use in sustained-release formulations in the pharmaceutical industry. It is also widely used as a thickener, stabilizer, and emulsifier in food products and personal care products. Despite its limitations, HPMC continues to be a popular choice of material in various applications due to its ease of processing and ability to be modified to suit different applications.

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