Toxicological evaluation of some food
additives including anticaking agents,
antimicrobials, antioxidants, emulsifiers
and thickening agents
WHO FOOD ADDITIVES SERIES NO. 5
The evaluations contained in this publication
were prepared by the Joint FAO/WHO Expert
Committee on Food Additives which met in Geneva,
25 June - 4 July 19731
World Health Organization
1 Seventeenth Report of the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on
Food Additives, Wld Hlth Org. techn. Rep. Ser., 1974, No. 539;
FAO Nutrition Meetings Report Series, 1974, No. 53.
CALCIUM ACETATE, CHLORIDE, GLUCONATE AND SULFATE
These compounds have been evaluated for acceptable daily intake
by the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (see Annex 1,
Ref. No. 7) in 1963.
Since the previous evaluation, no additional data have become
available. The previously published monograph is reproduced in its
Calcium is an essential nutrient. It is present in large
quantities in the body. Its absorption and metabolism are related to
vitamin D and phosphorus intake and to the functional activity of the
parathyroid glands. It is unlikely that a relatively small addition to
the daily calcium intake would have any effects in the body and even
larger doses would be likely to cause effects only if vitamin D intake
were also increased.
The acetate and chloride moieties of these two compounds can be
disregarded from a toxicological point of view. They enter naturally
into the metabolism of the body.
No definitive estimates of the LD50 for calcium acetate or
calcium chloride have been found in the literature.
Nothing was found in the literature concerning the toxicology of
calcium acetate or calcium chloride specifically. Acetic acid given to
rats in the drinking water at a level of 0.25% caused no toxic
symptoms, while 0.5% produced a slight retardation of growth
No animal data have been found in the literature. About 1 g a day
of acetic acid, present in vinegar and other items of food and drink,
has been consumed by man for centuries, apparently without giving rise
to any ill effects.
Judging from the report of the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Group on
Calcium Requirements (FAO/WHO, 1962), the average daily intake of this
element for man may safely extend from about 400 mg up to 2 or even 3
g. The contribution of calcium derived from compounds used as food
additives according to present practice is unlikely to increase
substantially the total intake. For this reason, no specific figures
have been proposed for acceptable daily intakes of these calcium salts
except that the acceptable daily intake of calcium gluconate should
comply with the limits set for gluconic acid.
Estimate of acceptable daily intake for man
FAO/WHO (1962) FAO Nutrition Meetings Report Series, 1962, No. 30; Wld
Hlth Org. techn. Rep. Ser., 230
Sollmann, T. (1921) J. Pharmacol. exp. Ther., 16, 463
* See relevant paragraph in the seventeenth report, pp. 10-11.