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Calcium Chloride – A useful preservative and food additive.


Calcium chloride is a naturally occurring salt derived from limestone, however it is rarely in this form. It is more commonly produced synthetically as a by-product in the ammonia-soda process or Solvay process. It presents as a white solid and at room temperature and dissolves in water.

Calcium chloride is a simple molecule composed of one calcium atom and two Chlorine atoms and has the chemical formula CaCl2. As a food additive it can be recognised in ingredients listing as E 509.


FOOD INDUSTRY

In the food industry Calcium chloride is used in a wide range of food products – from cheese and tofu to beer, canned fruits and vegetables and sports drinks.

It is used as a nutrient supplement, stabiliser, thickener, and texturiser and is useful in baked goods, dairy products, beverages, juices, coffee, tea, condiments, jellies, meat products, and other products.

The most common uses:

· As a firming agent in canned vegetables

· It is often used in sports drinks where it acts as an electrolyte, which are ions that conduct electrical activity and help the body maintain fluid balance as well as proper muscle and nerve functions. It also helps maintain bone can health, prevent muscle spasm and keep the heartbeat regular.

· Prevents browning of fresh fruits and vegetables and helps maintain texture.


USES IN DAIRY PRODUCTS

When making cheese, calcium chloride helps create a firmer setting curd. Store bought pasteurised milk or goat’s milk may have a lower calcium content. The amount of calcium in the milk will affect coagulation and coagulation time of the cheese. Adding the calcium chloride allows cheese makers to better control the coagulation process. The amount of calcium chloride added will depend on:

· the acidity (pH) and calcium concentration of the milk;

· processing conditions, such as temperature;

· desired coagulating time.

It is also used in the beer industry to get the correct mineral levels and acidity in the brewing water.


MOLECULAR GASTRONOMY – SPHERIFICATION

One of the most interesting uses is in a process called spherification where it is combined with sodium alginate. This Molecular gastronomy technique is used to make fake (faux) caviar, often using fruit or vegetable juices.


HEALTH ISSUES / SIDE EFFECTS

Calcium chloride is widely regarded as a SAFE PRESERVATIVE by most food safety organisations including the FDA and European Union.


For more information on Calcium Chloride email shannen@chemgritsa.co.za.


[Additional Info: Food Construed]

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