Calcium lactate is widely used for the prevention andtreatment of calcium deficiencies, such as latent tetany, hyperparathyroidism,osteomalacia/rickets, and osteoporosis. It is a rich source of calcium and canbe found in daily dietary supplements. It is a food additive that is typicallyadded to a variety of foods to enhance their texture and flavor or help extendtheir shelf life. According to the United States Food and Drugs Administration(USFDA), except in infant foods and infant formulas, calcium lactate can beused in food at a level that does not exceed current good manufacturingpractice. It is used as a thickener, leavening agent, flavoring agent,stabilizer, and firming agent.
Calcium lactate can also be used asan ingredient in medications or certain types of calcium supplements. The crystalform of the mineral is used mainly in the processing of cheese and other dairyproducts. It has a very low melting point and its crystals are insoluble inwater. It can be separated from calcium chloride using chemical procedurecalled reverse specification. In this procedure, both sodium alginate andcalcium lactate are separated by adding water and exposing them to a negativepressure. This separation produces sodium lauryl sulfate, which is a compoundconsisting of two molecules of sodium and one molecule of calcium. The sodiumlauryl sulfate is then separated out into two molecules using a rotary mixer.
Reverse specification using calcium lactate involves placinga small amount of the calcium salts on a glass plate in the presence of ananesthetic. Then, an electric current is passed through it, causing the salt todissolve into the liquid and produce a small amount of gas. This gas isinjected under mild pressure into the parathyroid glands. A patient sufferingfrom parathyroid disease is usually given oral administration of sodium laurylsulfate, which acts on the enzyme responsible for parathyroid glands to secretemore parathyroid hormone. As more is produced, the gland enlarges and startsenlarging again.
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