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Calcium propionate

Calcium propionate[1]
IUPAC name Calcium propanoate
Other names Calcium propionate
CAS number 4075-81-4
PubChem 19999
EINECS number 223-795-8
SMILES CCC(=O)[O-].CCC(=O)[O-].[Ca+2]
Molecular formula C6H10CaO4
Molar mass 186.22
Appearance White crystalline solid
Solubility in water Freely soluble
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for
materials in their standard state
(at 25 °C, 100 kPa)

Infobox disclaimer and references

Calcium propionate or calcium propanoate has the formula Ca(C2H5COO)2. It is the calcium salt of propionic acid.


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.[2] In agriculture, it is used, amongst other things, to prevent milk fever in cows and as a feed supplement [3] Propionates prevent microbes from producing the energy they need, like benzoates do. However, unlike benzoates, propionates do not require an acidic environment.[4]

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.[5]

A few decades ago, Bacillus mesentericus (rope), was a serious problem,[citation needed] but today's improved sanitary practices in the bakery, combined with rapid turnover of the finished product, have virtually eliminated this form of spoilage.[citation needed] Calcium propionate and sodium propionate are effective against both Bacillus mesentericus rope and mold.[citation needed]

According to the Pesticide Action Network North America, calcium propionate is slightly toxic.[6] This rating is not uncommon for food products; vitamin C is also rated by the same standards as being slightly toxic. [7] Calcium propionate can be used as a pesticide.[8]

Behavioral effects

Calcium propionate has been weakly linked to irritability, restlessness, inattention, and sleep disturbance in children.[9] The Ecologist Online claims that it is linked to allergic reactions in bakery workers.[10]


  1. ^ Merck Index, 11th Edition, 1705.
  2. ^ Codex Alimentarius data for calcium propionate
  3. ^ Center for Food and Nutrition Policy review of use of calcium propionate as an organic agent in cow feed and as milk fever prevention
  4. ^ Ingredients -- Calcium propionate. Retrieved on 2007-03-10.
  5. ^ Keeping molds, bacteria at bay. Retrieved on 2007-03-24.
  6. ^ Pesticide Action Network data on calcium propionate
  7. ^ Pesticide Action Network data on Vitamin C
  8. ^ Biggs, A.R., M. El-Kholi, S. El-Neshawy, and R. Nickerson. 1997. Effect of calcium salts on growth, polygalacturonase activity, and colonization of peach fruit by Monilinia fructicola. Plant Disease 81:399-403.
  9. ^ Pubmed document
  10. ^ the ecologist doc. 307
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.
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