Nutritional bars are fast, convenient, and provide a healthy supplemental food source. Consumers use them as a meal replacement, as a snack or just as a treat. The challenge to the nutritional bar manufacturer is to make the bar efficiently. They must be sure the bars adhere to size, shape and weight limits and include all the nutrients needed, while making sure that taste isn’t sacrificed. Whether the bar is an energy, low carb, or high protein type, consumers expect that calcium is included. And the key ingredient to accomplish this is calcium carbonate.
Adding Calcium To Nutritional Supplement Bars
The Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) for calcium for adults is 1,000 mg of elemental calcium carbonate. Calcium carbonate is 40 percent elemental calcium, so 2.5 grams of calcium carbonate provides the 1,000 mg of calcium needed. Most other calcium salts have significantly lower elemental calcium content, some as low as 9 percent, so a larger quantity must be used to supply the desired calcium fortification level.
Other reasons for using calcium carbonate in your bars: calcium carbonate has a lower price. Combining this lower price with the ability to use less makes calcium carbonate more economical to use. It is highly bioavailable, as high as milk calcium. With the proper selection of particle size, calcium carbonate-containing nutrition bars can have excellent taste. And if California Proposition 65 is a concern, high purity grades make meeting those lead requirements easier.
Choosing A Specialty Minerals Precipitated Calcium Carbonate For Nutrition Bars
In order to maximize the amount of calcium that can be added to a food without taking up much of the bulk of a nutritional bar, the larger particle size, denser, PCC’s are the best choice. Products such as ViCALity® Ultra Heavy, CalEssence® 1500 or Sturcal™ L PCC work well in nutritional bar formulations. While they have the largest particle sizes of the Specialty Minerals PCCs, their median particle size, 12 microns, in the case of the Ultra Heavy and 1500, and 6 microns for the Sturcal, is less than 800 mesh—far smaller than the maximum size deemed acceptable for inclusion in baked goods without effect on taste and mouth feel. If a smaller particle size is desired, Specialty Minerals has grades with particle sizes down to 0.07 microns.
The ViCALity® PCC and CalEssence® PCC families are manufactured in the U.S. while the Sturcal PCC family is manufactured in the U.K. All meet the local Pharmacopeia and food purity regulations, and are available for shipment world-wide. The U.S. plant is also AIB (American Institute of Baking) certified.
The choice between the three grade families can depend on whether California Proposition 65 lead limits are of concern. If these limits must be met, the choice then depends on the level of fortification desired. For formulations providing a significant portion of the RDI of calcium (1,000 mg Ca/day), the formulator may want to choose an ultra-low lead CalEssence® PCC, which contains less than 125 ppb lead. If only part of the daily requirement is provided, then a ViCALity® PCC, with a lead level of less than 500 ppb, may be fine. You can click on the link below to learn more about meeting California Proposition 65.
- Specialty Minerals calcium carbonates for nutritional supplements and pharmaceuticals
- CalEssence®, ViCALity® and Sturcal™ PCC downloadable data sheets
- SMI Minerals in consumer products
- What is Precipitated Calcium Carbonate (PCC)? A mineral introductory webpage
- What is PCC for Healthcare? A downloadable information sheet
- Lead in Calcium-Containing Products: California Proposition 65 A downloadable information sheet.
- Resources and useful information for formulator: Downloadable information sheets on bioavailability, economics of formulating with calcium carbonate, effect of particle size and shape on supplement properties, and California Proposition 65 / lead levels.
- Osteoporosis: Anyone Can Be At Risk—Even You! A down loadable information sheet
- About Specialty Minerals Inc.
- SMI Quality: Good Manufacturing Practices and Kosher Certification