What is Calcium Caseinate in Food and Uses: A Protein and Calcium supplement

What is it | Uses | Safety | Side effects | FAQs

Calcium caseinate, a milk-derived protein and a calcium supplement, commonly used as a food additive in nutritional food. Also, it acts as an emulsifier, thickener or stabilizer. With the addition of calcium caseinate, food manufacturers can enrich the content of protein and calcium in their finished foods. The athletes and bodybuilders often take it as a supplement.

What is Calcium Caseinate?

It is the milk protein obtained by the action of edible casein or edible casein curd coagulum with neutralizing agents (calcium hydroxide) followed by drying. Calcium and sodium caseinates are the most common caseinates. 

What is it Made of?

It is composed of protein (min 88.0%), fat (max 2.0%), calcium (1.3-1.6%), lactose (max 1.0%) and others.

How is it Made?

Like sodium caseinate, it also comes from casein which is made from skimmed milk. Generally, it is produced by adding a slurry of lime (calcium hydroxide) in water to a casein curd-water mixture at a relatively low temperature (< 45ºC). The casein is converted into its calcium salt and then dried.


Appearance White granules or powder; practically odourless.   
Other names Caseinate, Ca; Caseinate, calcium salt
CAS number 9005-43-0
Chemical formula NA
Molecular weight NA
Solubility Soluble in water 

What’re the Application of Calcium Caseinate?


Due to the high calcium content and the derivation of milk protein, it is commonly used as a functional ingredient in the following foods:

  • Infant nutrition
  • Sports (e.g. protein shake mix) and dietetics nutrition
  • Baked goods
  • Dairy products (e.g. yogurt)
  • Cheese
  • Confectionary

Meanwhile, it is used in food for its emulsification, thickening, and easy film-formation.

The calcium in calcium caseinate is in the form of ions. Calcium ions are stably combined with serine phosphate residues in casein. It is an ideal calcium supplement which is easily absorbed by the human body and does not require vitamin D to assist the absorption.


Per the “European Commission database for information on cosmetic substances and ingredients”, calcium caseinate acts as a binding, bulking, hair conditioning and skin conditioning agent in cosmetic and personal care products. (1)

Is Calcium Caseinate Safe to eat?

Yes, its safety when used as a food additive has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA), as well as other authorities.


The FDA has claimed that calcium caseinate can be used for color or coloring adjunct, formulation aid, nutrient supplement, stabilizer or thickener and texturizer in food. (2)


It can be used in frozen desserts and creamed cottage cheese. (3)

What are the Possible Side Effects?

It is common that sometimes consumers have questions whether calcium caseinate is bad for our health and what are the side effects. There are almost no health risks but some people may be intolerant to lactose and may have problems if allergic to milk.

Lactose Intolerance

As it contains a low level of lactose, people who are intolerant to lactose should avoid it. 

Milk Allergy

It may cause an allergic reaction to people allergic to milk.

Frequently asked questions

Is it Natural?

No, from the manufacturing process mentioned above, we can know casein is a natural but calcium caseinate is a synthetic additive.

Is it Vegan?

It is not vegan as it is made from milk. So vegetarians should avoid it.

Is it Dairy Free?     


Calcium Caseinate VS Sodium Caseinate? 

They are both the common caseinates but the uses are different. Sodium caseinate commonly functions as an emulsifier, thickener and stabilizer in food while calcium caseinate is mostly used as a food nutrient, also, it can be used as a low sodium substitute of sodium caseinate.    


Now you may have a knowledge of the calcium caseinate, from the following aspects:

  • Composition
  • Manufacturing process
  • Different Uses with sodium caseinate
  • Safety
  • Side effects due to lactose intolerant and milk allergy
  • FAQs: is it natural, vegan, dairy free

What do you think of this ingredient? Let me know in the comments.