Hydroxypropyl cellulose

Hydroxypropyl cellulose (HPC) is a derivative of cellulose that is water-soluble. HPC is used in food products as a thickener and to stabilize oil-in-water mixtures. It is also used in oral formulations (i.e. capsules and tablets) as a binder and to assist in disintegration 1. Hydroxypropyl cellulose is an approved food additive by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) 2, by the Natural Products Health Directorate in Canada ( and by the European Food Safety Authority (

This ingredient can be found in the following products in United States:


  1. Handbook of Pharmaceutical Excipients. Washington, DC: Pharmaceutical Press and American Pharmacists Assn, 2006.