Calcium propionate is a common bread and meat preservative that works by suppressing the growth of mould and other microorganisms, therefore extending the shelf life of food. It also provides nutritional benefits as it possesses calcium as a source.
It is a preservative that can be combined with propionic acid and sodium propionate in bread and other baked goods.
Calcium propionate preserves baked goods by preventing mould and bacterial growth, which would otherwise cause them to spoil. Calcium propionate is naturally present in butter and some types of cheese.
It is a relatively new sort of food preservative that’s deemed safer than sodium benzoate and less expensive than potassium sorbate.
A preservative commonly used in yeast-raised baked goods such as pre-packaged and sliced bread, as well as some chemically-leavened goods. It is added during the dough phase, and the optimal use level is determined primarily by the formula and the desired shelf life of the finished product.
Calcium propionate is formed when chemically synthesized propionic acid is neutralized with calcium hydroxide. It is a preferred preservative in bakeries.
Properties of Calcium Propionate
- Appearance: White Crystalline Powder
- Boiling Point: 240.9ᵒC
- Molar Mass: 213.51g/mol
- It is an antimicrobial agent.
- It is used in accordance with current good manufacturing practices, and its use is limited to what is required to achieve the desired effect.
- It’s used in baked goods, cheeses, confections, frostings, gelatins, puddings, fillings, jams, and jellies, among other things.
- It can enhance calcium nutrition.
- During the dough-making process, it is frequently combined with the other ingredients while making bread.
- Calcium propionate is hydrolyzed to propionic acid and calcium after entering the feed body. Propionic acid is an important volatile fatty acid; a small portion of it is converted to lactic acid, while the remainder is converted to glucose or provides energy after oxidation. As can be seen, calcium propionate is an important source of energy.
Calcium Propionate is a free-flowing powder that can easily be applied either by blending them with flour and other dry ingredients or by dissolving them in the water.
It is freely soluble in water. It degrades into propanoic acid, which has antimicrobial properties.
Only dissolved preservatives can have antimicrobial action against microorganisms, so water solubility is critical. Because of their low solubility in water and the formation of their salts, a few other preservatives are not commonly used in food.
Advantages of Calcium Propionate
- Beneficial in suppressing the growth of mold (fungi) and other microorganisms, it is used as a preservative in a wide variety of products that include bakery, cheese, meat, dairy products, etc.
- It has little effect on yeast and does not interfere with fermentation, therefore, an excellent preservative for bread and rolls. Sodium propionate, on the other hand, slows yeast fermentation and is not recommended for use in bread or rolls.
- Effective at inhibiting mould and bacteria growth, if the dose is proportional to the number of microbial cells present.
- Propionic acid enters mould cells and inhibits enzyme metabolism while also inhibiting microbial growth by competing with alanine or other essential amino acids required for microbial growth. That is how calcium propionate works to keep mould and other microorganisms at bay.