Press releases

Basel, 01 February 2003

Calcium Lactate Gluconate - the innovative solution for extra calcium

Basel, February 1st, 2003 – The outstanding characteristics of CLG, combining high solubility and neutral taste lead to new applications in a wide range of premium products.

The challenge for food manufacturers is to provide a product having high calcium content but without sacrificing quality for the added health value. Commonly used calcium salts might have negative effects on taste and stability of the final product. Jungbunzlauer Calcium Lactate Gluconate has been formulated to overcome these problems because it displays high solubility and stability, combined with a neutral taste profile. The introduction of mixed calcium salts displaying optimised characteristics is an important prerequisite to explore innovative concepts for food fortification.

Calcium lactate gluconate, also known as calcium lactogluconate (CLG) is a relatively new product for calcium fortification in food and beverages. Jungbunzlauer has recently introduced calcium lactate gluconate with unique characteristics for food and beverage fortification.

Solubility

CLG has the highest solubility of all commonly used calcium salts, which is the main functional advantage of this product. The reason for this phenomenon is believed to be the ability of mixtures of lactate and gluconate ions to form metastable complexes with calcium ions in solution, which provides additional stability benefits in food and beverage applications.

Taste

CLG provides a neutral taste, even at high concentrations. This is especially important for food applications, where high calcium levels must be obtained without negative influence on taste properties of the fortified product. Researchers at Technical University Munich-Weihenstephan performed detailed studies on taste properties of Jungbunzlauer CLG and found that CLG fortification could not be detected in apple juice with up to 150 mg/ 100 mL added calcium. No unusual/negative taste characteristics could be found at relevant calcium RDA levels between 15 to 18.7 % per 100 mL. This shows that in near-to-water drinks, a slight fruity taste can help to prevent the detection of added CLG.

Calcium Content

CLG is a mixture of calcium gluconate and calcium lactate. Jungbunzlauer CLG contains approx. 13 % calcium, which is very high compared to other forms of CLG, where the calcium content can be as low as 10 %. The improved formulation of 13 % calcium has a considerable impact on the raw material cost, when the price of added calcium is calculated for the product to be fortified.

Maximum Fortification Level

The individual characteristics of the different calcium salts (e.g. solubility, taste at high concentrations) limit their application as well as the maximum concentration. As shown in Table 1, the high solubility of CLG in water allows for concentrations, which could theoretically reach a maximum fortification level of more than 6 times of the Recommended Daily Allowances (RDA) of calcium. This excellent solubility and complexing power of CLG is an additional safety aspect to avoid negative consequences, such as sedimentation or bitter taste in the final product. With Jungbunzlauer CLG, higher calcium fortification levels of food and beverages are now possible and required fortification levels can generally be achieved without the need for modifications to the salt such as micronisation to increase dispersability, or the addition of sequestering agents.

Maximum Fortification Level

The individual characteristics of the different calcium salts (e.g. solubility, taste at high concentrations) limit their application as well as the maximum concentration. As shown in Table 1, the high solubility of CLG in water allows for concentrations, which could theoretically reach a maximum fortification level of more than 6 times of the Recommended Daily Allowances (RDA) of calcium. This excellent solubility and complexing power of CLG is an additional safety aspect to avoid negative consequences, such as sedimentation or bitter taste in the final product. With Jungbunzlauer CLG, higher calcium fortification levels of food and beverages are now possible and required fortification levels can generally be achieved without the need for modifications to the salt such as micronisation to increase dispersability, or the addition of sequestering agents.

Dissolubility

High dissolubility of a calcium salt can have various benefits for its use in food processing. Concentrations up to 50 % of Jungbunzlauer CLG can be reached within minutes without negative consequences on colour or odour and only slight influence on pH. In storage stability tests, solutions with concentrations of 5, 10 and 30 % of CLG remained stable at room temperature for at least one week. These characteristics significantly reduce the time needed for adding calcium during processing. High dissolubility and stability can also be deciding factors as to when CLG is used in concentrated or instant preparations.

Bioavailability

Any nutrient's effectiveness depends on its bioavailability, which means how well the human body absorbs and utilises it. On average, only about 10 to 30 % of calcium is absorbed from a mixed diet by healthy adults. Several different factors influence this level, one being the type of salt providing the calcium: Various scientific studies have shown that organic calcium salts outperform inorganic calcium sources such as calcium carbonate and calcium phosphate with regard to their relative bioavailability. CLG belongs to the group of highly-bioavailable organic sources, as proven by extensive human and animal studies.

Applications

CLG is primarily used in applications where solubility and clarity is important, such as:

  • fortified clear beverages
  • concentrated preparations and pre-blends
  • instant preparations

Due to its neutral taste and ease of processing, it is further used in

  • probiotic drinks
  • cloudy fruit juices
  • confectionary

Contact
For further information please contact our Technical Service Manager for Special Salts:

Dr. Gerhard Gerstner
E-mail: gerhard.gerstnerjungbunzlauer.de