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What are the Properties of HPMC Powder?

Release time: September 07, 2023


Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose (HPMC) powder is a versatile substance widely used in various industries, including pharmaceuticals, food, construction, and cosmetics. Its unique properties make it a valuable ingredient in many applications. In this article, we will explore the key properties of HPMC powder, shedding light on its characteristics and uses.

Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose (HPMC) powder

1. Chemical Composition

HPMC powder is derived from cellulose, a natural polymer found in plant cell walls. The chemical structure of HPMC is modified through a reaction with propylene oxide and methyl chloride. This modification imparts specific properties to the cellulose, making it soluble in both water and organic solvents.

2. Solubility

One of the most notable properties of HPMC powder is its solubility in water. It forms a clear, colorless solution when mixed with water, making it an excellent choice for various formulations. The degree of solubility can be adjusted by changing the degree of substitution (DS) during the manufacturing process.

3. Film-Forming Ability

HPMC powder has excellent film-forming properties, making it a valuable ingredient in the pharmaceutical and food industries. It can create a thin, flexible film when dissolved in water, which can serve as a protective barrier or coating for various products.

4. Thickening and Gelling

HPMC powder is an effective thickener and gelling agent. When added to a liquid, it can increase viscosity and provide a smooth, creamy texture. This property is often utilized in food products like sauces, dressings, and desserts.

5. Controlled Release

In the pharmaceutical industry, HPMC is frequently used in drug formulations due to its ability to control the release of active ingredients. By adjusting the HPMC's viscosity and solubility, drug manufacturers can achieve extended or delayed drug release, ensuring optimal therapeutic effects.

6. Bioadhesion

HPMC exhibits bioadhesive properties, which means it can adhere to biological surfaces such as mucous membranes. This property is valuable in the formulation of oral drug delivery systems and ophthalmic products, where controlled adhesion is required.

7. Stability

HPMC is stable under various environmental conditions, including a wide range of pH values and temperatures. This stability makes it a reliable ingredient in both pharmaceutical and food formulations, ensuring the longevity of products.

8. Nonionic Nature

HPMC is a nonionic polymer, which means it does not carry an electrical charge. This property makes it compatible with a wide range of other ingredients, including anionic and cationic compounds. It can be used in combination with other additives without causing compatibility issues.

9. Hygroscopicity

HPMC exhibits hygroscopic properties, meaning it can absorb and retain moisture from its surroundings. This can be advantageous in food products to maintain freshness and extend shelf life.

10. Safety

HPMC is considered safe for consumption and use in various industries. It is non-toxic and non-allergenic, making it suitable for pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and food products.

Applications of HPMC Powder

Due to its versatile properties, HPMC powder finds applications in various industries:

  • Pharmaceuticals: HPMC is used in tablet coatings, controlled-release formulations, ophthalmic solutions, and more.

  • Food: It is employed as a thickener, stabilizer, and gelling agent in food products like sauces, soups, and desserts.

  • Construction: HPMC is added to cement and mortar formulations to improve workability, adhesion, and water retention.

  • Cosmetics: It is used in skincare and cosmetic products for its film-forming and thickening properties.

  • Contact Lenses: HPMC is used in the production of contact lenses due to its bioadhesive and water-retaining abilities.


Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose (HPMC) powder is a versatile and valuable ingredient in various industries, thanks to its unique properties. Its solubility in water, film-forming ability, thickening and gelling properties, controlled release capabilities, and safety make it a preferred choice in pharmaceuticals, food, construction, cosmetics, and more. If you are looking for a reliable HPMC powder supplier or want to learn more about its applications, please don't hesitate to contact us. We are committed to providing high-quality products to meet your specific needs.

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