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Carboxymethylcellulose (CMC). A white, water-soluble polymer (q.v.) derived from cellulose (q.v.) and available in various modifications with different viscosity (q.v.) characteristics. It is used as a thickener (q.v.), binder and stabilizer (q.v.) in different bakery products. Its presence increases water absorption (q.v.) and tends to improve the baked product's eating quality and extend its shelf life (q.v.).