Calcium is found naturally in some food. This mineral is pertinent for your bone development and maintaining strong bones. Calcium carbonate can be used for people who have a calcium deficiency. People who can’t eat enough calcium-rich foods use calcium carbonate pills as a dietary supplement. Let’s have a look at how calcium is used in our foods.
Nowadays, we don’t eat enough of these natural foods that contain calcium. That’s why producers have added calcium carbonate as a food additive in our foods to ensure we get enough of this mineral. It’ll also act as a food preservative and retain the colour of the food. Calcium carbonate can be found in shells from shellfish to snails and even eggshells, however, for food additives, it usually gets produced from quarried (a deep pit) marble.
Sounds a Bit Strange, Why Do We Use it in Our Foods?
Calcium carbonate doesn’t need extra processes to color food, thus making it potentially less harmful to use as a food colorant. This food colorant can also be used in our fruits. This product is great for vegetarians who lack some nutrients in their diets, that’s why almost all soy products contain this ingredient. Have you ever opened your yoghurt and saw that the liquid separated from the creamy parts? Yuck right, well carbonate calcium is used in milk products to lessen the chances of the ingredients breaking down in emulsions (creating dispersions between ingredients). Therefore , to explain it in simpler terms, the calcium carbonate acts as a stabilizer in milk products. In beer, calcium carbonate is used as one of the ingredients to create yeast.
So in What Other Foods Do We Find it?
It’s everywhere. Because carbonate calcium has such a wide variety of uses, it can be used in most foods and beverages. Let’s look at some examples of foods where carbonate calcium is used:
- Dried fruits
- Canned products like sardines
- Most frozen foods
- Most cereals
- Aromatized (made to smell good) beverages
- Processed meat and fish products.
What Are the Side Effects?
Don't worry about it. You’re safe. Calcium carbonate can be harmful, but only in the unrefined concentrated form. They put minuscule amounts in our food. In its purest form, it will look like a white crystal or powder. On the other hand, if you don’t get enough calcium there will be side effects that could increase the risk of developing problems like osteoporosis, abnormal heart rhythms, and possible bone fractures. To find out more on highly concentrated (very strong) calcium’s side effects, read more on it here. To find out more on how much calcium intake you need, read here.
Calcium carbonate is a form of calcium and you have nothing to be afraid of when it’s in its minuscule form. It greatly benefits people that have a calcium deficiency. It also has a wide variety of uses in food, and thanks to calcium carbonate our food can be preserved without putting any extra chemicals in it. The national institutes of health have approved carbonate calciums use in food.