Calcium lactate is the salt of lactic acid with calium hydroxide. The substance is offered in solid form as a white powder. It is miscible with water and tends to so-called efflorescence: deposits of mostly white powder or crystals occur on the surface of the structure. The salt efflorescence resembles a crust.
As a powder, the substance forms several hydrates of which the pentahydrate appears to be the most stable.
The main raw material for the production of calcium lactate is lactic acid. There are two established systems for the industrial production of lactic acid: chemical production or by fermentation (biological).
Chemical extraction uses coal, petroleum products, or natural gas as base product. Although there are many chemical ways to produce lactic acid, the so-called acrylonitrile process has become established here. The starting products hydrogen cyanide and acetaldehyde are combined under high pressure and with the aid of a basic catalyst to form lactonitrile. After a purification step, sulfuric acid is added to the obtained lactonitrile to gain lactic acid and ammonium salts by hydrolysis. The finished lactic acid is thus obtained via several distillation and purification steps. It is important that this chemical synthesis always yields a racemate which must be further separated into the individual isomers if necessary. The acid obtained is then neutralized with calcium hydroxide or calcium carbonate. The reaction with calcium hydroxide produces calcium lactate and water. During the reaction with calcium hydroxide, carbon dioxide and water are formed in addition to salt.
Large quantities are now produced by fermentation. The main starting material is glucose which is obtained from corn or starchy plants (wheat, barley, potatoes, sugar cane, etc.). It is valid: the higher the starting materials, the higher the final product: high purity is obtained, for example, with sucrose from sugar cane or sugar beets. With a high purity content, the subsequent downstream processing steps are simpler and therefore more cost-effective. The actual production is then usually carried out in a so-called batch process: in simple terms, microorganisms are added to a glucose solution in a large container. Under specific reaction parameters, such as temperature, the microorganisms transform the glucose into ethanol, citric acid and lactic acid. Some microorganisms can also produce calcium lactate directly with the addition of calcium minerals. The pure salt is obtained through final processing steps such as precipitation, filtration, evaporation, and crystallization. The number of processing steps has a strong influence on the quality and price of the product. Despite the many processing steps, production by fermentation is simpler and therefore more cost-intensive than chemical production.
Since calcium lactate from the manufacturing process usually does not contain animal proteins, it can be taken without any problems in case of lactic acid intolerance. In food, the substance also trades under the E-number 327. The food additive can be added to the product in "sufficient quantity" and is considered harmless. Only in the production of "organic food" its use is prohibited.
Due to its chemical properties, the salt of lactic acid is used as an acidity regulator and humectant. In addition, calcium lactate influences the swelling capacity of protein: fats and water are better bound to the amino acids, thus reducing the leakage of these substances. The products remain fresh and attractive to the customer for a longer time.
Calcium lactate reacts with pectin to form insoluble complexes, which is used in the preservation of fresh-cut fruit. These complexes prolong the shelf life and consistency of the cut surfaces (e.g. in the case of cut mango in the supermarket). In the food industry, calcium lactate serves as a flavoring agent, stabilizer, thickener and flavor enhancer. If it is mixed with sodium alginate, a tasteless mass is formed which serves as a "protective skin" for food.
In human and veterinary medicine, calcium lactate is used as a mineral supplement and in cases of calcium deficiency. Due to its affinity for complex formation, it also serves as an antacid in cases of increased acid production of the stomach.
To obtain harder shells in eggs, calcium lactate is added to the feed of chickens.
In engineering, people are experimenting with calcium lactate as a coagulant to remove suspended solids from water. It would be a biodegradable alternative to the aluminum chloride that is in use now.
In the production of bioconcrete, the salt of lactic acid increases compressive strength and reduces water permeability.
Depending on your request, we can offer the European or Asian goods.
In this product area we cooperate, among others, with the European manufacturer Corbion / Purac (Puracal ®).