Calcium chloride is an inorganic compound, a salt with the chemical formula CaCl2. It is a colorless crystalline solid at room temperature, highly soluble in water.
The average intake of calcium chloride as food additives has been estimated to be 160–345 mg/day. Calcium chloride is permitted as a food additive in the European Union for use as a sequestrant and firming agent with the E number E509. It is considered as generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
As a firming agent, calcium chloride is used in canned vegetables, in firming soybean curds into tofu and in producing a caviar substitute from vegetable or fruit juices. It is commonly used as an electrolyte in sports drinks and other beverages, including bottled water. The extremely salty taste of calcium chloride is used to flavor pickles without increasing the food’s sodium content. Calcium chloride’s freezing-point depression properties are used to slow the freezing of the caramel in caramel-filled chocolate bars. Also, it is frequently added to sliced apples to maintain texture.
In brewing beer, calcium chloride is sometimes used to correct mineral deficiencies in the brewing water. It affects flavor and chemical reactions during the brewing process, and can also affect yeast function during fermentation.
In cheesemaking, calcium chloride is sometimes added to processed (pasteurized/homogenized) milk to restore the natural balance between calcium and protein in casein. It is added before the coagulant.
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