What is Calcium Sulfate?
Calcium sulfate is used in the food industry as an anticaking agent, dough strengthener and stabilizer. It occurs naturally and exists as a fine, white to slightly yellow-white odorless powder.1
Calcium sulfate occurs naturally and is mined from limestones. The anhydrous form of calcium sulfate is prepared by complete dehydration of gypsum, below 300 oC, in an electric oven.1
Calcium sulfate is a great source of calcium. Calcium sulfate anhydrous contains approximately 29% calcium while calcium sulfate dehydrate contains approximately 23% calcium. Calcium has many potential benefits in health promotion and disease prevention and treatment. Calcium is needed to help regulate blood pressure, improve bone health and is needed to prevent osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, cancers of the colon, rectum, and prostate.
The daily allowance (RDA) of calcium for both male and female adults is 1000 mg per day, as recommended by the Food and Nutrition Board (FNB) at the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies.2
Functions of calcium sulfate:1
- Anticaking agent
- Color and coloring adjunct
- Dough strengthener: the absence of calcium ions causes bread dough to be soft and sticky and produces bread of poor quality.
- Drying agent
- Firming agent in canned potatoes, tomatoes, carrots, lima beans, and peppers
- Flour treating agent
- Formulation aid
- Leavening agent
- Nutrient supplement
- pH control agent
- Processing aid
- Stabilizer and thickener
- Yeast nutrients: it is added in breads and other baked goods to promote growth of yeast.3
The anhydrous form of calcium sulfate is prepared by complete dehydration of gypsum, below 300 oC, in an electric oven.1
When used as a flour bleaching agent, it is mixed with benzoyl peroxide at the ratio of no more than 6 to 1 by weight.4
Calcium carbonate can be used to replace a part of sodium chloride to produce reduced-sodium bread. It can replace up to 32% of sodium for brown bread without adversely affecting palatability or product quality.5
It has been used to produce the calcium-enriched baked products like cookies, brownies, snacks etc., without adversely affecting texture by adding emulsifier (US 5514387 A).6
Calcium sulfate has GRAS status from the FDA in the Code of Federal Regulation article 21CFR184.1230.1 It can be used at a maximum level of 1.3% for baked goods, 3.0% for confectionery and frosting, and 0.5% for grain products and pastas.1
- “Calcium Sulfate.” FDA Code of Federal Regulations 21CFR184.1230. 01 Apr. 2016. www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/CFRSearch.cfm?fr=184.1230&SearchTerm=calcium%2Bsulfate. Accessed 14 Apr. 2017.
- “Office of Dietary Supplements – Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet: Calcium.” National Institutes of Health. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 17 Nov. 2016. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Calcium-HealthProfessional/. Accessed 17 Apr. 2017.
- “CFR – Code of Federal Regulations 21CFR137.105.” Accessdata.fda.gov. 01 Apr. 2016. www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/CFRSearch.cfm?fr=137.105. Accessed 17 Apr. 2017.
- “Food Additives & Ingredients – Overview of Food Ingredients, Additives & Colors.” U S Food and Drug Administration Home Page. Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, 02 Dec. 2014. www.fda.gov/food/ingredientspackaginglabeling/foodadditivesingredients/ucm094211.htm. Accessed 17 Apr. 2017.
- Charlton, Karen E., Elizabeth Macgregor, Nonnie H. Vorster, Naomi S. Levitt, and Krisela Steyn. “Partial Replacement of NaCl Can Be Achieved with Potassium, Magnesium and Calcium Salts in Brown Bread.” International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition 58.7 (2007): 508-21.
- “Patent US5514387 – Calcium-enriched Baked Good Production and Method of Making.”Google Patents. 7 May 1996. www.google.com/patents/US5514387. Accessed 20 Apr.2017.