Calcium chloride is used as a firming agent for canned vegetables and fruits. In canned tomatoes, not only does it help retain texture but it is also is a low sodium flavor agent. Because if it is low sodium, but salty, it has replaced the use of sodium chloride in canned pickles. It is also a common electrolyte in sports drinks and is a nutritional calcium supplement in bottled water.
Calcium chloride is used as a preservative in foods. It has sequestrant properties and is an acidity regulator. It is used to adjust the mineral content of water in the beer making process. In the process of making tofu and soybean curd, calcium chloride is used to precipitate the soy protein. Calcium chloride is a better option than sodium chloride in this process as the resulting product has lower sodium and contains calcium.
Other Use and Industries
Calcium chloride is used in brines in refrigeration plants. It is used to deice roads due to its ability to lower the freezing point of the road surface. It is also used as a desiccant or water absorber in packaged materials. Calcium chloride also has medical uses, including intravenous administration for magnesium intoxication and treating hypocalcaemia. In the genetic research lab, it is used in the transformation process by helping in the uptake of DNA.
No known side effects are published; however, due to dietary concerns of high sodium and not enough calcium, calcium chloride is a product that helps food producers develop foods that do not contribute to these issues.
There are three production methods for calcium chloride. They are the limestone hydrochloric acid process, Solvay process, and the natural brine process. The most common method for food grade calcium chloride is the limestone hydrochloric acid process. Briefly, limestone is treated with hydrochloric acid to produce a concentrated calcium chloride solution. Calcium hydroxide is added to help precipitate out the magnesium and other metals. Then the process concludes with a sedimentation and filtration process to yield a 36% solution of calcium chloride.