Calcium acetate, made up of calcium, carbon, hydrogen and oxygen, is the calcium salt of acetic acid. It has the formula Ca(C2H3OO)2. Other names such as acetate of lime, calcium ethanoate and calcium diacetate are also known by people. In appearance, the chemical is a white granular powder that does not have any smell. It is used in both the food and pharmaceutical industries in medication and as a food additive that acts as a stabilizer.
Calcium acetate is created by making a calcium salt from acetic acid. The most prolific use of this compound in the food industry is as a stabilizer. Stabilizers perform several functions in manufactured foods, mostly in powdered foods but also in liquid and solid foods. They are able to organize flavoring compounds and give the product a uniform texture. With foods that use an emulsifier to bind ingredients, calcium acetate further binds the ingredients to ensure nothing separates.
Many dairy products, such as drinks, condensed milk, milk powder and cream, use calcium acetate. Cereals and batters, along with edible casings for sausages and many types of pasta need this substance for proper production and storage. It also extends the shelf life for all food in which it is used.
As a medicine, this substance is used to ensure phosphate levels in the blood do not become dangerously high for dialysis patients with kidney disease. When phosphate builds up in the blood it can combine with calcium in the blood and this mixture can cause damage by being deposited on the blood vessel walls. It can also cause itchiness and affect the strength of the bones and joints. Calcium acetate(CAS No. 62-54-4) tablets prevent the absorption of phosphates into the bloodstream as they bind to the phosphate in your food. The combination is then passed out in your stools.
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), this substance is considered to be generally safe on several levels. As a substance by itself, it is considered safe. Most FDA regulations regard calcium acetate’s use in food. As a food coating, ingredient and direct food substance, it is considered to be safe.