1. Binder / Stabilizer – Retains the physical characteristics of food/cosmetics and ensure the mixture remains in an even state
2. Emulsifier – Allows water and oils to remain mixed together to form an emulsion, such as in mayonnaise, ice cream, and homogenized milk
3. Gelling Agent / Thickener – Increases the viscosity by thickening the liquid to give it more texture
Hypromellose (INN), short for hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC), is a semisynthetic, inert, viscoelastic polymer used as eye drops, as well as an excipient and controlled-delivery component in oral medicaments, found in a variety of commercial products.
As a food additive, hypromellose is an emulsifier, thickening and suspending agent, and an alternative to animal gelatin. It can be found in sterilized, pasteurized and UHT cream, low-calorie cream and pasteurised low-fat cream, bakery products and in reduced fat products. It has E number 464.
It is approved to use as food additive in EU.
Scientific References :
1. PubChem: https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/24832095
Regulatory References :
1. EU Approved Food Additive 
2. US FDA Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS)