What is Calcium Carbonate – Uses, Occurrence, Preparation, Advantages, Side Effects

What is Calcium Carbonate?

Calcium Carbonate is an odourless, tasteless chemical compound and found in rocks as minerals limestone. It is the main ingredients of pearls and shells of marine organisms, snails and eggs. It is also an active ingredient in agriculture. In daily life, it is used as a calcium supplement or as an antacid.

Food grade calcium carbonate has the highest concentration of elemental calcium — 40% by weight.It is used as a phosphate buffer in haemodialysis patients and as a calcium supplement. It is used as an anti-caking agent in food additives.

Synonyms:Limestone; Chalk; Calcite; Carbonic acid calcium salt

Formula: CaCO3

Occurrence of Calcium Carbonate:

Eggshells, snail shells and most seashells are predominantly calcium carbonate and can be used as industrial sources of that chemical.

Preparation of CaCO3 

CaCO3 is obtained by using carbon dioxide and slaked lime as raw materials. When carbon dioxide is passed through slaked lime, calcite is obtained.

Ca (OH)+ CO2 → CaCO+ H2O

Uses of Calcium Carbonate:

  • Calcium carbonate is used as an additive in food industries.
  • It is used as an antacids and an anticaking agent.
  • It is also used as food preservatives.
  • It is used as a nutrient for yeast, thus helps in baking.
  • It is used in toothpaste due to its abrasive property.
  • It is used as fillers and intermediates.
  • It is used as lubricants and lubricant additives.
  • It is used as paint additives and coating additives.
  • It is also used in food packaging.
  • It is used to treat low blood calcium levels.

Foods containing Calcium Carbonate:

It can be found naturally in dairy products, cereals, canned soup, baked goods.

Advantages of Calcium Carbonate:

  • Calcium Carbonate is used as an antacid (neutralizes acid of gastro intestinal tract) in food industries.
  • It provides temporary relief from ingestion and heart burn.
  • It is added to swimming pools as a disinfectant agent and as pH corrector.
  • It gives strength to bones and teeth.

Disadvantages of Calcium Carbonate:

Side Effects of taking excess Calcium Carbonate:

Calcium carbonate is regarded as safe in low quantity, but can lead to hypercalcemia if taken in excess. It can cause abdominal pain or vomiting.

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