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FOT 001 FEBRUARY 2002 COVER 8/5/02 3:04 am Page 1




Jungbunzlauer presents: The challenge

of calcium fortification in beverages
FOT 026-028 JUNGBUNZLAUER 8/5/02 3:12 am Page 1

The challenge of calcium

fortification in beverages

B everages enriched with calcium is dominating the daily menu. Common calcium sources
represent a significant part of the Various studies showed that a significant for beverage fortification
growing functional soft drinks proportion of the population groups fails to Table 1 (See next page) shows a typical
segment. In the USA, being the achieve the calcium intakes in western range of calcium fortified beverages which
trendsetting market for supplementation with countries2. This observation is seen as being have been seen in US and UK supermarkets
minerals, calcium-fortified lines reached a one of the main factors causing osteoporosis3. recently. Practically every type of beverage
20% share of the chilled orange juice As a consequence, national authorities such as mineral water, soy milk, energy drink,
products in 2001. This increasing all over the world have recently nectar or juice does have a fortified product
demand drives mineral salt reconsidered recommendations line already. Looking at the ingredients list, it
suppliers such as Jungbunzlauer in order to take remedial is evident that there is not “the” calcium
to offer not only one product but measures against calcium source but rather a range of different
rather a range of different deficiency and accordingly, to possibilities used commercially:
calcium salts and granulations to be reduce the risk of osteoporosis. In - inorganic salts like calcium carbonate and
able to tune them to industrial customers’ this respect, the US National Institute of calcium phosphate
applications. This article discusses important Health (NIH) has increased the amounts of - organic salts like tricalcium citrate, calcium
nutritional, technological as well as optimal daily calcium intake and defined lactate, calcium lactate gluconate and calcium
economical aspects of calcium in beverages specific values for each population group4. For gluconate.
with a focus on the Jungbunzlauer products example, calcium intake should be 1000 The selection of the appropriate salt for a
Tricalcium Citrate, Calcium Gluconate and mg/day for adults (25-65 years of age) and as specific application is usually based on the
the new product development Calcium much as 1500 mg/day for seniors (older than consideration of a number of properties
Lactate Gluconate. 65 years) or lactating women. Harmonisation associated with the respective product such as
of Recommended Daily Allowances (RDA) is solubility, calcium content, taste and bioavail-
Calcium – A hot topic under discussion also on EU level right now, ability. Economic considerations are another
Fighting osteoporosis and promoting presumably leading to levels comparable to important factor.
calcium intake is a hot topic right now in current US recommendations.
Europe: At the International Osteoporosis There are several options to avoid calcium Solubility vs. calcium content
Foundation conference on December deficiency by increasing the daily calcium When fortifying beverages, solubility,
04, 2001, Health and Consumer intake: A balanced diet dissolution characteristics and stability of
Protection Commissioner David ingredients in solution are a major issues.
Byrne emphasised his intention There are calcium salts
to take action at EU level1. with good solubility like
“Osteoporosis is a disease that is calcium gluconate, calcium
sadly overlooked, under-diagnosed lactate, and calcium lactate
and under-treated. This silent gluconate but their draw-
epidemic affects millions of back is a comparably low
Europeans, causing human calcium content (Table 2 -
suffering and taking a heavy see next page). Calcium salts
economic toll”, David Byrne said. with a high calcium content
One in three woman and one in like calcium carbonate and
eight men over the age of 50 are calcium phosphate, on the
affected by an enhanced bone other hand, are poorly soluble
fragility and an increased fracture and for that reason not
risk. During the conference, frequently used in beverages.
experts agreed to further increase Tricalcium citrate offers
efforts such as a good combination: The
• optimising diagnostics and commonly used tetrahydrate
treatment form shows a high calcium
• promoting adequate intake of level (21%) and moderate
calcium and vitamin D in the solubility (0.9 g/L). Solubility
diet. is strongly influenced by the
pH of the system since the
Optimising solubility of calcium salts
calcium intake typically increases with
Calcium is a key mineral decreasing pH. Tricalcium
in the human body, necessary citrate shows improved solubility
for normal growth and at pH-values below 4.5 as found
development of the skeleton in most beverages. Contrary to
as well as for teeth, nerve, other salts, tricalcium citrate is
muscle and enzyme functions. more soluble at low temperatures
As the body's calcium absorption capabilities which can be an advantage for
reduce with age, it is vital for the ageing to with calcium-rich foods like milk, cold food processing. To further
have a sufficient calcium intake. Calcium dairy products and certain vegetables increase the solubility and ease of dispersion,
requirements vary throughout an individual’s (broccoli, Chinese cabbage, legumes) would be Jungbunzlauer has developed a particularly
life and for different population groups. the best solution. However, this would require fine (micronized) tricalcium citrate grade.
However, it is generally evident that a a profound change in dietary habits of With this special granulation of min. 90% <
significant proportion of the population in western society. A further possibility consists 20 microns, it can be suspended in cloudy
Western countries fails to achieve the in taking calcium supplement products. A beverages and high concentrations of calcium
recommended calcium intakes. Poor dietary more elegant option is consuming “regular” (e.g. 1.5 g Ca/L) can be reached. Accordingly,
habits are seen to be responsible for this food fortified with calcium as an added value tricalcium citrate still is seen to be the main
situation, especially if consumption of fast food product. choice for fortified orange or grape juice.

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Table 1.Typical range of calcium-fortified beverages found in UK and USA supermarkets

Product Calcium source added Serving size (ml) Labelled Calcium Nutritional claim used
content (mg/l) on the product label
Still mineral water Calcium carbonate / chloride / sulphate - 300 Source of calcium
Tropical nectar Tricalcium citrate 200 500 -
Apricot nectar Calcium lactate 162 417 With calcium
Wellness drink Calcium lactate - ? With calcium
Soy milk Calcium carbonate 250 1200 Added calcium
Apple juice Calcium lactate 125 800 Calcium enriched
Fruit Juice Calcium lactate gluconate 240 417 Fortified with calcium
Cranberry juice Calcium lactate gluconate 240 417 Fortified with calcium
Grapefruit juice Tricalcium citrate 240 1458 Plus calcium
Orange/tangerine juice Tricalcium phosphate, calcium lactate 240 1458 As much calcium as milk
Orange juice I FruitCal™ 240 1458 As much calcium as milk
Orange juice II Tricalcium citrate 414 276 With added calcium
Beverage powder Calcium gluconate 113 ca. 3550 Fast absorbing calcium

Calcium lactate is provided as a interesting properties: its solubility is not Taste and Mouthfeel
pentahydrate, containing 13 % of calcium. It between the single components calcium Generally, high levels of calcium,
shows good solubility properties and is there- lactate and calcium gluconate as one would particularly insoluble forms like carbonates
fore mainly used in clear beverages to achieve expect, but it is synergistically enhanced to and phosphates, tend to produce a chalky
the necessary levels for nutritional claims on approx. 400 g/L water. This sums up to a mouthfeel and may promote astringency or
calcium. It is known that using calcium lactate calcium content of 45 to 50 g/L, depending on bitter taste in the finished product. Calcium
in high concentrations may lead to adverse the ratio of the mixture. With this high lactate may impart some bitter or milk-like
effects in certain applications2,5. Due to the calcium value in mind, it is not surprising that notes at high concentrations. Calcium carbon-
fact that with higher soluble salts, more free this salt is used when a high dissolution speed ate may come across as soapy or lemony.
calcium ions are in solution and available for is required. It is also especially recommended Calcium phosphate has a bland flavour, but
reaction than with lower soluble ones, for fortification of clear beverages. The reason imparts a gritty mouthfeel. Negative effects of
complications in the form of calcium for this phenomenon of extremely high calcium on taste can be masked with chelating
sediments can develop with time. This is the solubility is interpreted as the ability of agents (e.g. tripotassium citrate), and the use
of stabilisers (e.g. carageenan) as
well as with the addition of
Table 2. Important characteristics of common calcium sources used in the flavourings. Tricalcium citrate,
food industry calcium lactate gluconate and
Product Ca Solubility at 25°C (g/L) Taste Calcium Content calcium gluconate are considered
to be the most neutral calcium
Calcium carbonate Insoluble Soapy, lemony 40 % salts, as masking agents are not
Calcium phosphate Insoluble Sandy, bland 17 - 38 % really necessary.
Tricalcium citrate (4 H2O) 0.2 Neutral 21 % Since the particle size and
solubility are linked with mouth-
Calcium lactate (5 H2O) 9.3 Bland 13 % feel properties, Jungbunzlauer has
Calcium lactate gluconate 45 - 50 Neutral 10 - 13 % developed micronized grades for
tricalcium citrate combining
Calcium gluconate 3.5 Mild, neutral 9% excellent dispersion character-
istics with a neutral taste profile
in final applications.
case, when components (e.g. free protein, mixtures of lactate and gluconate ions to form
tartrate or phosphate) that give insoluble salts metastable complexes with calcium ions in Bioavailability
with calcium are present in the product. Thus, solution, which gives way for additional Any nutrient's effectiveness depends on its
although it is possible to add for example more benefits in beverages: Due to better stability of bioavailability, which means how well the
calcium lactate than tricalcium citrate to beverages fortified via calcium lactate human body absorbs and utilises it. On
beverages, higher amounts of calcium in the gluconate clear beverages can be fortified average, only about 10 to 30 % of calcium is
product might be difficult to achieve without without the addition of chelating agents6. And absorbed from a mixed diet by healthy adults7.
control of pH and addition of chelating agents higher calcium concentrations can be Several different factors influence this level,
such as potassium citrate2,5. In some reached, even in critical applications such as among which the type of salt which provides
applications, combinations of calcium lactate grape and cranberry juice, tea beverages and the calcium.
with other calcium salts can also have a also concentrated pre-blends. Containing Organic vs. inorganic salts. Various
stabilising effect. approx. 13% calcium and 4% water, scientific studies have shown that organic
Although calcium gluconate displays a Jungbunzlauer Calcium Lactate Gluconate can calcium salts outperform inorganic calcium
good solubility, it is not used frequently in offer an improved formulation compared to sources such as calcium carbonate and calcium
ready-to-drink beverages, especially due to its other calcium lactate gluconates on the phosphate with regard to their relative
low calcium content (9%). However, its market. bioavailability. Accordingly, the US National
neutral taste properties, high dissolution speed FruitCal™ is a patented mixture of citric Institute of Health recommended calcium
and low water content makes especially the acid, malic acid and calcium hydroxide citrate for supplementation, especially for
anhydrous form a valid calcium source for invented by Procter & Gamble. This highly older individuals where absorbability can be a
instant preparations such as fortified beverage soluble blend, also called calcium citrate limiting factor due to reduced gastric acid
powders, enabling high calcium amounts per malate is currently used in beverages under production4. Recently, researchers at the
serving size. licence e.g. for Tropicana’s (PepsiCo) Pure University of Texas conducted a meta-analysis
Compared to the above, calcium lactate Premium calcium fortified juices to reach of calcium bioavailability, which evaluated
gluconate is the most soluble salt showing very RDA values of calcium comparable to milk. studies on the bioavailability of two of the

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FOT 026-028 JUNGBUNZLAUER 8/5/02 3:12 am Page 3

most common forms of 4 National Institutes of

calcium supplements, tri- Health, Optimal Calcium
Intake, NIH Consens
calcium citrate and calcium Statement Online 1994
carbonate8. Over 90% of the June 6-8, 12 (4), 1-31,
studies reviewed showed Bethesda, MD (1994)
greater absorption of 5 Reddy, S.; Sher, A.; Van
calcium from tricalcium Vadehra, D.; Wredal, E.R.
citrate than calcium carbon- Calcium complex and a
ate by an average of 22 to 27 process of making a food
%. fortified with calcium. US
Patent 5,928,691 (1999)
Similarly, calcium phos- 6 Liebrecht J.W.; Phillips,
phate has also been K.M. Calcium fortified
described in scientific juice-based nutritional
studies to display lower supplement and process of
bioavailability than tri- making. US Patent
calcium citrate9. Absorption 6,106,874 (2000)
of calcium from soy milk RECIPE FOR CALCIUM-FORTIFIED 7 National Research Council.
fortified with tricalcium ORANGE JUICE Calcium, In: Recommended
phosphate reached only Dietary Allowances: 10th
4 g Jungbunzlauer Tricalcium citrate M 2090 are dispersed in 1000 mL of edition. Report of the
75% of the efficiency of Subcomittee on the Tenth
calcium from cow milk10. orange juice using a high-shear mixer.The resulting fortified juice contains
Edition of the RDA. Food
Furthermore, it is not approx. 210 mg of calcium per 250 mL (about 8 fluid oz) serving, which and Nutrition Board and
considered to be an appro- represents 26% of calcium RDA (800mg calcium per day). the Commission of Life
priate ingredient for calcium Sciences. Washington
fortification due to the D.C. National Academy
undesired characteristics of the phosphate Among the organic salts with high bioavail- Press, 174-184 (1989)
anion. Intake of phosphate is reported to ability and more neutral taste profiles, 8 Sakhaee, K.; Bhuket; T., Adams-Huet, B.; Rao,
D.S. Meta-analysis of calcium bioavailability: A
exceed adult RDAs in practically 100% of the tricalcium citrate (21% calcium) clearly stands comparison of calcium citrate with calcium
population11. Therefore, further addition of out as the most economic option for calcium carbonate, Am. J. Therapeutics 6, 313-321 (1999).
phosphate to food should be avoided in order addition and is the main choice for cloudy 9 Heaney, R.P.; Recker, R.R.; Weaver, C.M.
to gain a higher calcium-to-phosphorus ratio, beverages. Calcium lactate has about the same Absorbability of calcium sources: the limited role
which is considered to be favourable for price but a lower calcium content (13%). Due of solubility, Calcified Tissue International 46,
sufficient calcium absorption. to its good solubility, it is a good alternative for 300-304 (1990)
Influence of solubility on bioavailability. clear beverages, if the desired amount of 10 Heney, R.P.; Dowell, M.S.; Rafferty, K.; Bierman,
Reviewing the various bioavailability studies calcium does not affect stability and taste of J. Bioavailability of the calcium in fortified soy
which had been done on the common organic the beverage. For those critical applications, imitation milk, with some observations on
method. Am J Clin Nutr 71, 1166-1169 (2000)
salts listed in Table 1, it is concluded that they calcium lactate gluconate (available with up to 11 Anderson, J.J.B.; Garner, S.C. Dietary issues of
show similar calcium absorption . This holds
2 13% calcium) is worth the premium price to calcium and phosphorus, Calcium and
true even though there are significant achieve high fortification levels, e.g. in clear Phosphorus in Health and Disease, CRC Press,
solubility differences of organic calcium salts soft drinks or concentrated pre-blends. 7-23 (1995)
in plain water. Researchers agree that these Another possibility, having a calcium price 12 Hansen, C.; Werner, E.; Erbes, H.-J.; Larrat, V.;
differences have no significant effect on between the latter salts, is using highly soluble and Kaltwasser, J.P. Intestinal calcium absorption
absorbability in an acidic environment such as and neutral tasting calcium gluconate (9% from different calcium preparations: influence of
in gastric acid in the human stomach as well as calcium), e.g. for instant beverage powders. anion and solubility. Osteoporosis Int. 6, 386-393
at neutral conditions in the intestine2,9,12. 13 Takamiya, K.; Atsugi, M. Influence of saliva
Although for example tricalcium citrate Conclusion mucin on the digestability of calcium
displays only moderate solubility in water, it The ongoing success of calcium-fortified compounds. Journal of Japanese Society of
had been assessed as having the same beverages speaks for itself. Consumers Nutrition and Food Science 47(6), 447-451
solubility in artificial intestinal juice as the increasingly prefer food with added nutritional (1994)
calcium lactate13. Furthermore, studies with value rather than taking nutritional supple- 14 Reginster, J.Y.; Denis, D.; Bartsch, V.; Deroisy R.;
healthy male volunteers revealed that ments to fill up their calcium needs. Beverages Zegels, B.; Franchimont, P. Acute biochemical
compared to calcium lactogluconate/ are seen to be one of the best means to help variations induced by four different calcium salts
carbonate and calcium phosphate, oral admin- fighting calcium deficiency. However, the in healthy male volunteers, Osteoporosis Int. 3,
271-275 (1993)
istration of tricalcium citrate induced the challenge for food and beverage manufacturers
highest serum calcium and greatest reduction is to provide a product having high calcium
in parathyroid hormone, conditions most content with good taste and appealing
favourable for building bone mass or properties. Accordingly, Jungbunzlauer as one Dr Gerhard Gerstner
minimising resorption14. of the leading producers of citrates and Technical Service Manager
gluconates is further increasing its efforts to Jungbunzlauer Ladenburg GmbH
Economic considerations vs. provide a wide range of highly bioavailable Germany
calcium content organic calcium sources for nutritional Tel: +49 6203 104 180
Although inorganic calcium salts are more purposes. Fax: +49 6203 104 210
economic than organic ones due to their low Email:
price and high calcium content, they are not REFERENCES
1 EU Press Release Memo/01/416, Brussels,
frequently used in beverages anymore.
Comparing the mainly used organic sources on December 2001
2 Flynn, A.; Cashman, K. Calcium. In: Hurrel, R.
the other hand, they are all in the same price (ed.) The Mineral Fortification of Foods,
range, except for the premium mineral source Leatherhead International Ltd, Surrey, England
calcium lactate gluconate. For this reason, (1999)
their wide range of calcium contents (9 to 3 Matkovic, V. Calcium metabolism and calcium
21%) has a considerable impact on the raw requirements during skeletal modelling and
material cost when the price of calcium added consolidation. American Journal of Clinical
is calculated for the product to be fortified. Nutrition 54, 245-260 (1991)

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