Calcium propionate is a food additive, Calcium propionate can be used as a preservative in food. It can be used in bread, other baked goods, processed meats, whey and other dairy products.
can be used as a feed additive in agriculture to prevent milk fever in cows. Calcium propionate prevents microbes from producing the energy they need, just as benzoate does. Calcium propionate differs from benzoate in that it does not require an acidic environment.
Bakers consider mold contamination a serious problem in baking, and the conditions common in baking are suitable for mold growth. In baked products, calcium propionate is an anti-mildew agent, usually added by 0.1-0.4 percent(although animal feed can contain up to 1 percent).
Extensive studies have been conducted on the potential toxicity of calcium propionate and its potential risk of cancer. All laboratory tests were negative, except two. One study involved injecting large amounts of calcium propionate into chicken embryo bags with egg yolks. Another study looked at weight loss in young rats lacking vitamin b-12. The results suggest that ingesting several times the amount of calcium propionate in a standard diet can slow growth. The results did not indicate how much vitamin b-12 deficiency was associated with these results.
Other laboratory studies also show that rats that ate large amounts of calcium propionate (and similar compounds) did not appear to have any adverse effects over a longer period of time. Therefore, these studies can show that calcium propionate is not toxic, and that the amount of calcium propionate that food manufacturers currently use in foods is safe.