If you’re looking at the ingredients list of many food products, chances are you’ll see calcium chloride listed. Finding calcium chloride in food is extremely common, as it’s a preservative that is used throughout both the food and beverage industry. It’s also Generally Recognized as Safe by the US Food & Drug administration when used at recommended levels, so it’s nothing to worry about either.
So why is calcium chloride in food? And what other purposes can it serve? Let’s take a look.
The Many Uses of Calcium Chloride in Food
Fundamentally calcium chloride is a desiccant and is often used as a firming agent. That is, it helps keep foods from becoming mushy when they sit on store shelves – particularly canned foods. You’re likely to find it in almost any canned fruit or vegetable, as it does a lot to extend the shelf lives of those foods.
However, that’s just the start of the usefulness of calcium chloride.
Another extremely commonplace use of calcium chloride is when making cheese. At a basic level, it acts as a firming agent here too – helping the cheese curds clump together and be more stable once they do.
Beyond that, it’s also highly useful for regulating the process of separating curds and whey. Small amounts of calcium chloride can be added to milk, changing both its calcium content and its pH level, which in turn will change the properties of the cheese which is made.
The substance is also used in the making of tofu, particularly firm tofu, in a similar fashion.
Calcium chloride is also commonly seen among brewers, as one of many “brewing salts” which can be added to affect the type and quality of the beer produced. It can help correct for unbalanced mineral levels, as well as – again – altering the pH of the beer. This is vital for creating a stable product!
One of the more interesting properties of calcium chloride is that when it’s combined with sodium alginate (another safe food additive) it can make liquids combine into small semi-solid spheres. This is used for making fake caviar, as well as other novelty foods.
FBC Industries Offers Top-Quality Food Additives
We are one of the world’s most trusted suppliers of safe and thoroughly vetted food additives such as calcium chloride. To learn more about our products, or request a sample for testing, just contact us.