What is Tricalcium Phosphate E341(iii) in Food: Uses, Safety, Side Effects

What is Tricalcium Phosphate E341(iii) in Food: Uses, Safety, Side Effects

What is Tricalcium Phosphate

Table of Contents

Tricalcium Phosphate is a food additive with E number E341. A phosphorus compound, tricalcium phosphate is a white, odorless, tasteless powder that occurs naturally in rocks and bones. It exists in three states, the primary forms being orthophosphoric acid and calcium phosphate. 

Tricalcium Phosphate is used in beverages (beer, wine), confectioneries (chocolate, mints), gelatin desserts, nutritional supplements, food enzyme stabilizers and other foods. This article explains what Tricalcium Phosphate is, where it is found and how it is used in food. It also introduces its health effects, potential side effects and safety issues.

What’s tricalcium phosphate?

Tricalcium phosphate (TCP) is a compound of calcium and phosphorous. It is also known as tribasic calcium phosphate, tricalcium phosphate dehydrate, or tricalciumphosphate dihydrate. It is used in foods and as an antacid.

Tricalcium phosphate is found in bones, teeth, hair and nails. It can be found in milk products and some dietary supplements.

It is used as a food additive to improve the texture of some foods such as cheese and ice cream.

It is also used to treat hyperphosphatemia (high blood levels of phosphorus), hypophosphatemia (low blood levels of phosphorus), hypercalcemia (high blood calcium levels), hypocalcemia (low blood calcium levels), rickets, osteoporosis, bone disorders or fractures due to low bone density and decreased bone mass, metabolic bone disease, osteomalacia and Paget’s disease.

What is tricalcium phosphate made from?

Tricalcium phosphate is a white powder that is used as a food additive and dietary supplement. It is also used in toothpaste, chewing gum and other oral products, as well as a mineral supplement for humans and animals.

Tricalcium phosphate is made from tricalcium orthophosphate, which is mined from a variety of sources. Tricalcium orthophosphate contains 80% tricalcium phosphate by weight, the other 20% being calcium carbonate. The process of making tricalcium phosphate involves heating the tricalcium orthophosphate at high temperatures until it loses its water content, leaving behind pure tricalcium phosphate.

What is Tricalcium Phosphate Used for?

Tricalcium phosphate is a common ingredient in medicines, dietary supplements and toothpaste. It is also used in animal feed as well as in other industrial applications.

Tricalcium phosphate is found in the human body and can be made from the combination of phosphoric acid, calcium oxide and water. It is a white or grayish powder that has a molecular formula of Ca 3 (PO 4 ) 2 . In its natural form, it occurs as tricalcium phosphate dihydrate (CaHPO 4 ·2H 2 O).

Tricalcium phosphate is used as a food additive to stabilize emulsions and prevent recrystallization of sucrose syrups during storage. It can also be used as an emulsifying agent in foods such as ice cream, cheeses and salad dressings.

Where does tricalcium phosphate come from?

Tricalcium phosphate is used in a variety of applications ranging from animal feed to dentistry. It’s also used as an additive in some vitamins and mineral supplements.

The compound is produced by reacting phosphoric acid with calcium carbonate, which is then dried and ground into a powder form.

Tricalcium phosphate can also be found naturally in some foods, such as bone meal and fish meal.

Why is Tricalcium Phosphate Used in Food?

Tricalcium phosphate is a natural mineral that is used in food products as a source of calcium and phosphorus. Calcium is an essential mineral for human nutrition, and the phosphorous in tricalcium phosphate helps to maintain healthy bones and teeth.

Tricalcium phosphate is also used in some dietary supplements, such as calcium-fortified juices and cereals.

Calcium deficiency can lead to low bone density, which makes it more likely that you will develop osteoporosis (bone thinning) or break a bone when you fall. As you age, your body’s ability to absorb calcium from food decreases, so it’s important to get enough calcium from your diet throughout life.

Phosphorus supports strong bones and teeth by helping with calcium absorption in the gastrointestinal tract. It also plays an important role in energy metabolism by helping cells convert fats and carbohydrates into energy for their daily activities.


Appearance A white odourless powder.
Other names
  • Calcium phosphate, tribasic
  • Calcium phosphate (3:2)
  • Phosphoric acid, calcium salt (2:3)
  • Tricalcium orthophosphate
CAS number 7758-87-4
Chemical formula Ca5(PO4)3 ·OH or Ca3(PO4)2
Molecular weight 502 or 310

What are the application of tricalcium phosphate?

Tricalcium phosphate is one of the most widely used food additives in the world. It is commonly found in processed foods, such as cheese, snack foods and beverages. It is also used as a nutritional supplement in many countries.

Tricalcium phosphate is a white powder that is used in food, dental products and pharmaceuticals. It is also used as a nutrient supplement for animals such as poultry and fish.


Anticaking agent

Tricalcium phosphate is often added to foods to prevent clumping and caking. It has been used in infant formulas, baking mixes, cocoa mixes and ground coffee. In the past, it was also used as a thickener in canned soups and other foods. It can also be used as a coating on chewing gum pieces to prevent them from sticking together during storage.

Nutritional supplement

Tricalcium phosphate is added to some nutritional supplements because it contains calcium and phosphorus. This can help people who do not eat enough of these nutrients through their diet get enough nutrients from one supplement pill instead of several different pills that each contain only one nutrient.


Tricalcium phosphate can be added to feed for animals such as cows, pigs, goats and chickens because it helps improve their digestion by increasing the amount of calcium available in their diets. This helps prevent rickets in young animals that get too little vitamin D from sunlight or other sources.


Tricalcium phosphate is used as a thickener and texture enhancer in cosmetics such as face creams and lotions. It makes these products feel smoother on the skin when applied. It is also used as an abrasive agent so that these products can exfoliate dead skin cells off your face when applied regularly over time.


Tricalcium phosphate is used as a toothpaste ingredient because it has mild abrasive properties that can help remove plaque from teeth. It can also be used to replace sodium tripolyphosphate, a chemical that can irritate skin and mucus membranes if swallowed in large amounts.

Is tricalcium phosphate safe?

Tricalcium phosphate is a naturally occurring mineral found in rocks and soils. It’s also used as a food additive, but it’s not safe to eat in large quantities.

Tricalcium phosphate is a naturally occurring mineral found in rocks and soils. It’s also used as a food additive, but it’s not safe to eat in large quantities. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allows tricalcium phosphate to be added as an anticaking agent in some foods. Tricalcium phosphate is also used as a nutritional supplement for adults and children when prescribed by a doctor, but it can cause side effects such as abdominal pain and nausea if taken in large amounts over time.


It has been established that calcium phosphate (mono, di, and tribasic) is generally recognized as safe (GRAS) when used in accordance with sound manufacturing practices.


Under Regulation (EU) No 231/2012, tricalcium phosphate is classified as an authorised food additive and as an “additives other than colours and sweeteners”.

Safety Re-evaluation in 2019

After several studies, the EFSA considered phosphates (including tricalcium phosphate) to have low acute oral toxicity and no links with genotoxicity, carcinogenicity, or developmental toxicity. Based on the EFSA’s research, a group acceptable daily intake (ADI) of phosphates expressed as phosphorus is 40 mg/kg body weight.

Authorised Uses And Use Levels

The use of this product is mentioned in E 341 except in infant and young child nutrition. The following foods may contain them:

  • Processed cereal based foods, baby foods for infants and young children
  • Infant formulae
  • Table-top sweeteners in powder form
  • Fruit-based desserts

It can also be used as a carrier for food additives with the “quantum satis”, as well as for coloring and emulsifying preparations.

UK Food Standards Agency

The item is categorized as “Others”.

Food Standards Australia New Zealand

All phosphate calcium (mono, di, and tribasic) in Australia and New Zealand has the code number 341.


Functional Class: food additives, acidity regulator and anticaking agent.

Tolerable Intake: In 1982, MTDI was set at 70 mg/kg bw (as P).

What are side effects of tricalcium phosphate?

Tricalcium phosphate is a supplement that is used to treat osteoporosis, and also to help children who are not able to absorb calcium from their diets. It can be taken as a pill or mixed with water or juice and consumed.

There are a wide range of possible side effects associated with tricalcium phosphate. Some people experience no adverse effects, while others may have several symptoms.

Common Side Effects of Tricalcium Phosphate

The following are some of the most common side effects associated with tricalcium phosphate:

  • Constipation
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Gas pains

Is tricalcium phosphate Safe for pregnant?

Tricalcium phosphate is a naturally occurring mineral that is used in many food products. It is also used as an additive in some medications, like calcium supplements and antacids.

Tricalcium phosphate is safe for pregnant women when taken as directed. However, it should be avoided if there are any known allergies to the drug or its ingredients. Tricalcium phosphate should not be used by people who have kidney disease, heart failure, high blood pressure or hypercalcemia (excessive levels of calcium in the blood).

There are no known risks associated with taking tricalcium phosphate during pregnancy when taken as directed by your doctor.

Does tricalcium phosphate cause cancer?

There is no evidence that Tricalcium phosphate causes cancer.

Tricalcium phosphate is a naturally occurring mineral that has been used as a food additive for many years, without any evidence of harm. It is also used in some dietary supplements and medications to improve their effectiveness and safety. However, it has not been studied extensively in humans. Some studies in animals have shown that tricalcium phosphate may be carcinogenic at high doses; however, the results have been inconsistent across species and studies.

Difference Between Tricalcium Phosphate, Calcium Citrate, and Calcium Carbonate

Calcium is an essential mineral that is required for the development, maintenance, and function of healthy teeth and bones. Calcium also plays a role in muscle contraction, blood clotting, nerve transmission, and cell membrane function.

There are many forms of calcium available on the market today. Calcium carbonate, calcium citrate, and tricalcium phosphate are three of the most common forms of calcium supplements.

1. Calcium


  • Tricalcium Phosphate: Tricalcium phosphate is the most common form of supplemental calcium. It is also known as calcitriol or Caltrate. Tricalcium phosphate contains about 33% elemental calcium by weight. The rest of the weight is made up of water and trace amounts of other minerals such as sodium, magnesium and phosphorus.
  • Calcium Citrate: Calcium citrate is another common form of supplemental calcium. It contains about 20% elemental calcium by weight. The rest of the weight consists mainly of citric acid and water but also contains small amounts of sodium, potassium and chloride ions.
  • Calcium Carbonate: Calcium carbonate is the third most common form of supplemental calcium. It contains about 40% elemental calcium by weight and has a pH between 7 and 8 which makes it more alkaline than the other two types mentioned above which have neutral pH values between 6-7.

2. Absorption

Tricalcium phosphate has been shown to be absorbed at a rate of about 43% when consumed with food compared to calcium citrate which is absorbed at a rate of about 30%. Calcium carbonate is not readily absorbed, so it must be taken with food.

3. Solubility

Tricalcium phosphate is not soluble in water, but it can be dissolved in liquid foods or beverages. Calcium carbonate is insoluble in acidic solutions and very soluble in basic solutions.

4. Bioavailability

Bioavailability refers to how much of a nutrient your body can actually use. Calcium citrate has the highest bioavailability of all three forms of calcium supplements because it is highly soluble, which means it dissolves easily in liquids and spreads evenly throughout the digestive tract. Tricalcium phosphate also has good bioavailability, but it can cause gas and bloating in some people if taken on an empty stomach or too close to bedtime. Calcium carbonate has poor bioavailability because it does not dissolve well enough for it to be easily absorbed by your body’s cells.

Tricalcium Phosphate Vs Trisodium Phosphate

The two products are similar in makeup and function. Both are used as water softeners and detergents. They both contain phosphates and can be used for laundry, dishwasher, or general cleaning purposes.

Tricalcium phosphate is the naturally occurring form of the substance, while trisodium phosphate is a synthetic form.

In addition to the differences in their origins, there are also some differences between the two products’ chemical compositions. Tricalcium phosphate has three molecules of calcium phosphate per molecule of water softener. Trisodium phosphate has three sodium ions per molecule of water softener.

These two ingredients are manufactured in different ways. Tricalcium phosphate is made by combining phosphoric acid with calcium carbonate (which is a type of limestone) at a high temperature. This produces tricalcium phosphate, which then needs to be ground into a powder.

Trisodium phosphate is also made by combining phosphoric acid with sodium carbonate at a high temperature. However, this time the resulting substance is trisodium phosphate dihydrate, which must then be dehydrated to produce trisodium phosphate anhydrous (also known as TSPA).

The main difference between these products is that tricalcium phosphate is more effective at removing soap scum than trisodium phosphate (TSP).

Where to buy tricalcium phosphate?


Tricalcium phosphate can be found at most health food stores and pharmacies as well as online retailers like Amazon and eBay. However, it is important to note that not all products labeled “tricalcium phosphate” contain the same amount of actual tricalcium phosphate. Some companies will add fillers such as cornstarch and other materials that do not provide any nutritional benefit whatsoever. If you are looking for an affordable source of tricalcium phosphate for your dietary supplements, it is best to purchase from an online retailer with a good reputation for customer service and shipping times.

Frequently asked questions

Is tricalcium phosphate natural?

Tricalcium phosphate is synthetic, but it does occur naturally in some foods such as dairy products and fish bones.

Is Tricalcium Phosphate Vegan?

Tricalcium phosphate is not considered vegan because it contains non-vegan ingredients such as animal bone char (bone ash) which is made from animal bones. However, there are vegan alternatives that can be used instead of tricalcium phosphate.

Is Tricalcium Phosphate Dairy Free?

Yes. Tricalcium phosphate is dairy free and safe to consume by those who are lactose intolerant. It’s also safe for vegans, as it doesn’t contain any animal products.

Is Tricalcium Phosphate Halal?

 Tricalcium Phosphate is a form of calcium phosphate, and it is made from bone ash. Bone ash is obtained from animal bones, so it is not Halal.

Is Tricalcium Phosphate Kosher?

Tricalcium phosphate is not kosher. Tricalcium phosphate is a chemical compound that has three calcium atoms and one phosphorus atom. It can be found in food supplements, toothpaste, and as an additive to animal feed. The compound is not considered kosher by the Orthodox Union (OU). The OU says that it will only certify products that contain less than 0.2% of tricalcium phosphate.

Is Tricalcium Phosphate Gluten Free?

Yes, tricalcium phosphate is gluten free. You can also find tricalcium phosphate in foods such as milk and dairy products, which are obviously not made using wheat flour.

Is Tricalcium Phosphate A Salt Additive?

Tricalcium phosphate is not a salt additive. It is an additive that can help with the salt-like properties of the product. Tricalcium phosphate helps to increase the solubility of calcium and phosphorus in food products. In addition to increasing their solubility, it also helps to increase their bioavailability. This means that when these minerals are present in foods, they will be more easily absorbed by the body and provide more nutrients for the consumer.

Is Tricalcium Phosphate a Preservative?

Tricalcium phosphate is not a preservative. A preservative is a substance that prevents the growth of mold and other microbes in foods, cosmetics, or even pharmaceuticals. Tricalcium phosphate is an additive that helps to keep other ingredients from separating during the manufacturing process.

Is Tricalcium Phosphate Same as Talc?

Tricalcium phosphate, also known as TFP and TCP, is not the same as talc.

The chemical formula for tricalcium phosphate is Ca(PO4)2. It’s a salt of phosphoric acid, which is why it’s sometimes called “the phosphoric acid molecule.” It’s also sometimes called “triphosphoric acid,” but this is technically incorrect.

It’s important to note that, while tricalcium phosphate is not exactly talc, they’re both made of calcium compounds.


Tricalcium Phosphate is an additive used in food manufacturing. It has various functions like acidity regulator, firming agent, a source of phosphorus and other mineral. Tricalcium phosphate is widely used in the manufacture of chewing gum, ice cream and other dairy products. It is also used in canned snails and canned crab meat. Tricalcium Phosphate E341(iii) generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Sophie Feng

Sophie Feng

Sophia Feng, Marketing Manager of Grade Chemical, specializes in writing food chemical article, custom chemical article, industry chemical blog.

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