Tricalcium Phosphate (TCP)
TCP is a white solid crystalline mineral of low solubility in neutral aqueous or organic solvents. Most commercially produced tricalcium phosphates are, in fact, hydroxyapatite, a mineral with nearly identical chemical and physical properties that depending on treatment, can be readily converted into one another. As such, both FCC and EUFSA regard these materials as equivalent. While Tricalcium phosphate/Hydroxyapatite is produced commercially by treating calcium hydroxide (slaked lime) with phosphoric acid.
The chemical formula for TCP is Ca3(PO4)2. CAS # 7758-87-4. Calcium phosphates have been assigned European food additive number E341iii. The formula for Hydroxyapatite Ca5(PO4)3(OH). Again both TCP and Hydroxyapatite have indiscernible differences apart from the microscopic/nanoscale crystal structure, which can be determined by X-Ray Diffraction (XRD). However, this has little no practical effect on the usage of TCP/Hydroxyapatite for most applications. Customers requiring TRUE Tricalcium phosphate (Ca3(PO4)2) Should contact NEI Sales for further details/options for acquiring this particular calcium salt over hydroxyapatite.
Primarily TCP is used as a calcium or phosphorus fortifying agent, Acting as an analogous mineral to the calcium minerals found in dairy products. Due to its low reactivity, TCP is useful in solving various issues facing the food industry. One major application is the use of TCP as an Anti-caking agent.
Without anti-caking agents, many food ingredients like sugar, flour, baking powder, etc., would, over time, become solid blocks with chalk-like consistency. Typically These dry ingredients slowly absorb moisture out of the air; this creates additional hydrostatic interactions that allow particles to bind with one another. This caking leads to lower product quality as the ingredients due to increased moisture oxidize, thus altering the particles' surface-level chemical and physical properties. In turn, this means that the once fine free following materials begin to cluster and agglomerate; therefore, they lose the ability to flow when being poured. Anti-caking agents reduce this issue by either coating the particles themselves to shield them or absorbing moisture before the powder does.
Food manufacturers often add anti-caking agents at some point during the production process to optimize manufacturing. Manufacturing efficiencies like reducing clumping and moisture-absorption lowers the overall production cost, which means lower prices to you for your sugar, flour, and other powdered ingredients in your pantry.
Tricalcium Phosphate is an ingredient used in a variety of industries for many purposes. Tricalcium phosphate is white, odorless, and tasteless. The TCP should be stored in a dry and cool area to maintain the material's as received properties. While NEI's TCP has a listed 3-year shelf life as required by food safety policies. This could be extended customers with the material in their inventory approaching three years of age can contact NEI about the material's recertification process.
A few facts:
- Chemically, tricalcium phosphate is a calcium salt of phosphoric acid identical to its naturally occurring counterpart
- It is almost insoluble in water and alcohols.
- NEI's TCP is sourced from non-Animal-derived Material (ADM); as such, it can be used in vegan foods
Tricalcium Phosphate use in the food industry will generally be in one of the following areas; however, this list is not exhaustive:
- Anti-Caking Agent: Food grade Tricalcium Phosphate is primarily used as an anti-caking agent. Anti-caking agents are very helpful in preventing the formation of lumps (caking) in food products. Without anti-caking agents, products such as muffin or biscuit mixes, dry soups, hot chocolate mix, cream powders, and more would be clumped and chunky. One of the most common uses for Tricalcium Phosphate is the anti-caking agent for powdered spices and solid drink mixes.
- Calcium or Phosphorus Fortification: Tricalcium Phosphate contains the calcium salt of phosphoric acid, so one will often see this product as a food additive to increase calcium and phosphorus. It is a popular additive in cereals, dairy products, and juices.
- pH Regulator and Buffering Agent: Tricalcium Phosphate can be added to milk, candy, pudding, wine, cheese, jams, condiments, and meat products to regulate acidity, enhance flavor and improve mouthfeel. Compared to other agents, TCP tends to be milder in its effect on pH compared to other mineral salts.
- Acidity regulator
- Adds smoothness and opacity to reduced fat foods and beverages, such as soymilk
- Anticaking agent
- Calcium and phosphorus mineral fortification– seen in some juices, soy beverages, and cereal products
- Clouding Agent
- Firming agent – interacts with gelling agents to strengthen a food structure
- Flour Treatment Agent
- Humectant in some table salts, sugar, or baking powder
- Stabilizer in some fats for frying
- Leavening agent in some baked goods & breading
- Mineral salt in cheese products
Silicon Dioxide or ground quartz is often used as a flow agent in dry powder applications in much the same way as TCP; as such food-grade TCP can be used in place of Silicon Dioxide based agents for most applications. In comparison, the inclusion rates may vary based on application; typically, dry food product manufacturers find that TCP can be used at a lower inclusion rate. Either agent may be added in manufacturing when a product is in a liquid or powdered state. However, TCP confers additional advantages, TCP adds Calcium and Phosphorus fortification and is soluble in acidic mixtures, while silicon dioxides are not as essential for nutrition as calcium is. As such, TCP can be used as both a flow agent and as a fortification agent, thus potentially replacing two ingredients with a single agent.
Furthermore, there are no official guidelines on worker exposure limits for TCP, whereas some silicon dioxide compounds may require additional preventive controls related to OSHA established worker exposure limits.
Titanium Dioxide TiO2 is a rather ubiquitous material throughout the industrialized world, being used as a pigment and a solid phase particle used to support functionalization chemistry applications in this area, including catalysis, remediation, small scale electronics, and functional coatings for other materials. As a pigment, TiO2 is estimated to be in one-third of all industrially produced pigments. However, its use is not without possible consequences ranging from potential environmental contamination to a probable carcinogen. There are enough concerns about setting exposure limits that EUFSA in 2019 began studies to revise said exposure limits. As for concerns about the potential relation between TiO2 and tumorigenesis, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified titanium dioxide as a suspected carcinogen based on studies that showed increased lung tumors in rats associated with titanium dioxide inhalation.
In the food industry, the typical application for titanium dioxide is as a bleaching or whitening agent. The desiccative and conditioning properties of Tricalcium Phosphate make it an effective bleaching or whitening agent without the risk associated with titanium dioxide. While aiding in color adjustment, Tricalcium Phosphate adds Calcium and Phosphorus fortification, and there are no additional worker exposure limits beyond those associated with Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP).
What is Safe Quality Food (SQF)?
Requiring SQF certification from suppliers helps protect client’s brand by focusing proactive prevention strategies. This, in turn, increases increasing consumer confidence and loyalty. SQF certification meets regulatory food safety requirements and enables buyers to demonstrate due diligence in food safety matters by requiring their suppliers to implement just one program and one standard. Because SQF is recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative, it is trusted by buyers around the world.
The SQF Program also makes it easier for buyers to identify qualified suppliers by providing online access to a list of SQF suppliers, along with their certification status and audit results.
The Safe Quality Foundation’s Compliance and Integrity Program (CIP) measures the quality and integrity of SQF certificates, audits, SQF professionals, and licensed certification bodies. The SQF CIP, helps to ensure the consistent execution of the SQF Program to meet stakeholder expectations. The CIP is used to identify areas for improvement to strengthen the SQF Program. There are two areas of focus for the CIP: Monitoring Activities and Stakeholder Feedback.