Avicel microcrystalline cellulose is celebrating a milestone birthday.  50 Years Young! To commemorate Avicel’s 50 year milestone, we will be publishing one fact for each of Avicel’s 50 years.  Please check back periodically for updates and new facts.

Fun facts about Avicel® microcrystalline cellulose also known as cellulose gel:
  1. Microcrystalline cellulose was accidentally discovered in 1955 by Dr. O.A. Battista and Patricia Smith, a laboratory technician, while they were trying to develop stronger rayon tire cords from cellulose.  
  2. The original Avicel patent was granted to Patricia Smith and Dr. Battista on April 4th, 1961. Patent no. 2,978,446. 
  3. The brand name Avicel comes from:  American Viscose Cellulose.  It was derived from the original company name – American Viscose Company, and the base product, cellulose.  FMC bought American Viscose in 1963.
  4. Avicel is the brand name of the first microcrystalline cellulose that was commercially available to industry. 
  5. Avicel’s native cellulose form is the same as that found in the fruits and vegetables we eat every day.
  6. Avicel’s native cellulose form is the same as that found in the fruits and vegetables we eat every day.
  7. Avicel’s native cellulose form is the same as that found in the fruits and vegetables we eat every day.
  8. An article on Avicel was published in Life Magazine in 1961. Avicel’s breakthrough newspaper article was entitled “Food that isn’t Food”.   It appeared with the tagline “No nutrition and no calories – but to heavy eaters, it may prove to be the greatest thing from trees”. Written by Warren Young.
  9. The first Avicel product came off the production line in May 1962.  It was a powder grade type, such as Avicel PH-101.The first sale of Avicel was to the pharmaceutical industry.