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Additional recommended knowledge
As a food additive, it is listed as E number 282 in the Codex Alimentarius. Calcium propionate is used as a preservative in a wide variety of products, including but not limited to bread, other bakery goods, processed meat, whey, and other dairy products. In agriculture, it is used, amongst other things, to prevent milk fever in cows and as a feed supplement  Propionates prevent microbes from producing the energy they need, like benzoates do. However, unlike benzoates, propionates do not require an acidic environment.
Calcium propionate is used in bakery products as a mold inhibitor. Mold contamination is considered a serious problem amongst bakers, and conditions commonly found in baking present near-optimal conditions for mold growth.
A few decades ago, Bacillus mesentericus (rope), was a serious problem, but today's improved sanitary practices in the bakery, combined with rapid turnover of the finished product, have virtually eliminated this form of spoilage. Calcium propionate and sodium propionate are effective against both Bacillus mesentericus rope and mold.
According to the Pesticide Action Network North America, calcium propionate is slightly toxic. This rating is not uncommon for food products; vitamin C is also rated by the same standards as being slightly toxic.  Calcium propionate can be used as a pesticide.
Calcium propionate has been weakly linked to irritability, restlessness, inattention, and sleep disturbance in children. The Ecologist Online claims that it is linked to allergic reactions in bakery workers.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Calcium_propionate". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|