What is Calcium Stearate (E470a) in Food? Uses, Safe, Side Effects

What is Calcium Stearate (E470a) in Food? Uses, Safe, Side Effects


Table of Contents

This article is concerned with calcium stearate, what it is, and its uses. Calcium stearate is also called calcium hydrogen stearate or calcium octadecanoate. The grade of calcium stearate used in food manufacture is obtained either as the solid monohydrate or by recrystallization from aqueous solution. It can be produced as a by-product in the soap industry by treating stearic acid with lime or magnesium oxide (E470b). Other grades are manufactured synthetically, the pure powder being white or pale yellow, but the commercial product is almost invariably grey owing to contamination with carbon, dirt and traces of calcium hydroxide formed in manufacture.

What is calcium stearate?

Calcium stearate is a type of calcium salt. It is used in detergents, shampoos, soaps and cosmetics. It is also considered an important ingredient for certain plastics and rubber products.

The main use of calcium stearate is to increase the foam in detergent bars and liquid detergents. The product has a high level of surface tension and helps to form a layer on the surface of water droplets to prevent them from spreading during lathering or rinsing. This process makes it easier for you to wash your clothes properly and makes them more resistant to dirt and stains.

Calcium stearate can also be used as an emulsifier in cosmetics or skin care products, as a thickener for paints and varnishes, or as an aid in the production of certain types of plastic materials.

Calcium stearate formula

Calcium stearate formula is an organic compound with a formula Ca(C18H35O2)2, a calcium salt of stearic acid. It is a white solid that is insoluble in water but soluble in alcohols and ethers.

Calcium stearate is used as an additive to foods, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals as a lubricant and release agent for tablet coatings. It can also be used as a mold release agent.

Calcium stearate msds

Calcium stearate is the calcium salt of stearic acid. It is a white, waxy solid that is insoluble in water, but soluble in ethanol. Calcium stearate has many industrial applications and is used as an anti-caking agent, lubricant and release agent in products such as sugar, flour, table salt and chewing gum.

Calcium stearate MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet)

The following information appears on the Calcium stearate SDS:

Product Name: Calcium Stearate

Chemical Name: Calcium Stearate

Identification Number: CAS No. 7558-04-3 or EINECS No. 231-446-0 or UN No. UN2776

Synonyms: Calcium stearate; calcium lauroyl sarcosinate; calcium laurate sulfonate; calcium lauroyl sarcosinate; calcium lauroyl sarcosine; sodium decanoate sulfonate; sodium decanoic monosulfonate (1:1); sodium decanoic monosulfonic acid (1:1)

Calcium stearate polymer additive

Calcium stearate polymer additive is a calcium salt of stearic acid, which is a white powder with a slight odor and can be easily dissolved in alcohol, ether or other organic solvents. It can also be used as an anti-rust agent for woodworking tools and as a lubricant for rubber and plastic products.

Calcium stearate polymer additive is also used as an anti-irritant in some pharmaceutical products.

Faci calcium stearate

Faci calcium stearate is a kind of organic calcium salt, which can be used as a lubricant, anti-caking agent and supplement in food, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and other industries. It has the following functions:

  1. Lubrication, anti-caking agent. It is used as a lubricant in food additives such as chocolate, candies and chewing gum. It can also be used as an anti-caking agent to prevent the powder from sticking together when it is packed into bags or cans.
  2. Supplement in food additives such as chocolate, candy and chewing gum to prevent them from sticking together during production or transport.
  3. Supplements for other products such as cosmetics and pharmaceuticals to prevent them from clumping up during production or transportation.

What is calcium stearate made from?

As defined by the USP, calcium stearate consists of calcium stearate and calcium palmitate. Additionally, it contains 9.0%-10.5% calcium oxide (CaO).

How to make calcium stearate?

Calcium stearate manufacturing process

Calcium stearate is a calcium salt of stearic acid. It can be made by mixing calcium chloride and sodium stearate in an aqueous solution. This reaction produces a precipitate of calcium stearate, which can be filtered out and dried. The reaction is reversible:

CaCl2 + 2C17H35COONa → (C17H35COO)2Ca + 2NaCl

The substance can also be made by combining stearic acid with calcium oxide. Stearic acid reacts with calcium oxide in an exothermic reaction at temperatures between 200 °C and 300 °C, depending on the amount of excess calcium oxide used in the reaction.

2C17H35COOH + CaO → (C17H35COO)2Ca + H2O


Calcium stearate is a white, odorless solid that is often added to food products as an anticaking agent. Calcium stearate can be sourced from animal and plant sources.

Calcium stearate can be derived from vegetable fats such as palm oil and coconut oil. It is also made from animal fat or fish oil.

In addition to its use in food products, calcium stearate is also used in the production of cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and other personal care products.


Other names Calcium salts of fatty acids, Calcium distearate, Calcium soap, Calcium octadecanoate
CAS number 1592-23-0
Chemical formula Ca(C18H35O2)2
Molecular weight 607.03
Melting point 155 °C (311 °F; 428 K)



It appears as a white to yellowish-white waxy powder or dispersion with a slight, characteristic fatty smell and a slight grease touch.

Calcium stearate solubility

As is the case with magnesium stearate, it is sparingly soluble in water (solubility 0.004 g/100 mL at 25 °C), whereas sodium and potassium stearate are readily soluble. In hot alcohol, vegetable and mineral oils, it is slightly soluble.

Why is calcium stearate insoluble in water?

Calcium stearate is insoluble in water because of the presence of hydrophobic groups in its structure.

The presence of these hydrophobic groups results in the formation of micelles or inclusion complexes with other polar compounds, thereby decreasing their solubility in water.



Image Source

Two stearate anions and one calcium cation make up calcium stearate. There are 36 carbon atoms in total in the structure of the molecule.

What is calcium stearate used for?

Calcium stearate is a calcium salt of stearic acid and is used as an emulsifier in food, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. One of its main uses is as a lubricant and release agent in the manufacture of chewing gum.

Calcium stearate in food

Calcium stearate acts as an emulsifier for other ingredients in foods such as bread dough and baked goods like cakes and biscuits, helping them bind together and giving them texture once cooked. It also prevents fats from separating out during freezing so ice cream doesn’t turn into liquid when thawed out again later on.

Below is a list of foods that may contain it:

  • Bakery
  • Calcium supplements
  • Mints
  • Soft & hard candies
  • Fats and oils
  • Meat products
  • Fish products
  • Snack foods

Calcium stearate in cosmetics

The emulsifying property of calcium stearate makes it useful as an ingredient in cosmetic products such as eye shadows, lipsticks and face creams. It helps to keep the pigments evenly distributed in the product so that they do not separate or clump together when applied to the skin or hair. The powdery feel of these products comes from tiny particles of talc added to them as a filler material or bulking agent, but talc can be irritating to sensitive skin types so it’s often replaced by calcium stearate.

Calcium stearate in pharmaceuticals

In a pharmaceutical context, calcium stearate can be used as an excipient to help prevent the breakdown of active ingredients during storage and distribution. It also acts as an emulsifier to keep ingredients from separating.

Calcium stearate in plastics

In plastics manufacturing, calcium stearate is used as a plasticizer to increase flexibility and reduce brittleness. The compound also helps improve flow characteristics during melt processing and improves product surface quality by improving adhesion with other materials such as metals or ceramics.

Other uses

There are a number of other applications for calcium stearate, including coatings, paper, rubber, concrete, textiles, antifoaming agents, etc.

Is calcium stearate safe to eat?

It is almost impossible for calcium stearate to cause any side effects when used as a food additive. It is generally recognized as safe (GRAS) in food with no restrictions other than current acceptable manufacturing practices. In addition to its uses as a flavoring agent and adjuvant, it can be used as a lubricant and release agent, as well as a stabilizer and thickener.

Calcium salts of fatty acids (E470a) are approved ingredients in Europe and the EFSA re-evaluated their safety as food additives in 2018.

Based on the reported uses and use levels, the EFSA concluded that there was no safety concern and no need to establish a numerical acceptable daily intake (ADI).

What are the benefits of calcium stearate?

Calcium stearate is a white powder that is often used as an antifoaming agent, emulsifier and lubricant. It is also used as a coating for tablets and capsules.

Calcium stearate can be found in food products such as chewing gum, candy, chocolate and baked goods. It is also used in the production of cosmetics, soaps and toothpaste. In addition to its main use as an ingredient in these products, calcium stearate also has some health benefits.

Calcium stearate may help reduce cholesterol levels. This effect has been noted in animal studies but not yet proven in humans. However, it does seem likely that calcium stearate will have this effect considering it contains the same fatty acid that helps lower cholesterol levels when taken orally or injected into the bloodstream (EPA).

What are the side effects of calcium stearate?

Calcium stearate is a food additive used as an anticaking agent and lubricant. It is also used in the cosmetic industry as a suspension agent, emulsifier and thickener. Side effects of calcium stearate are rare.

Calcium stearate side effects

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration considers calcium stearate safe for use in food products at levels up to 0.15 percent (1,500 parts per million). Calcium stearate is not considered to be toxic or carcinogenic, but it has been linked to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) in some people who consume large amounts of processed foods containing this additive. The symptoms of IBS include abdominal cramping, bloating and diarrhea.

Side effects of calcium stearate include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Allergic reactions, including hives (swelling), itching, rash, bronchospasm (wheezing), and anaphylaxis (severe allergic reaction)

Where to buy calcium stearate?

Calcium stearate can be purchased from a number of online retailers, including Amazon.com and eBay. There are also numerous other websites that sell calcium stearate, but be careful when purchasing from these sites because they may not be reputable and may not deliver the correct product.

Calcium stearate price

The price of calcium stearate will depend on the quantity that you want to purchase. For example, if you purchase 1 kilogram of calcium stearate from Amazon, it will cost $0.59 per 100 grams or $0.059 per ounce.

Frequently asked questions

Is calcium stearate natural?

No, calcium stearate is not natural in the sense that it has been synthesized by humans for commercial purposes, but it does occur naturally in some foods and plants.

Is calcium stearate halal?

Yes, calcium stearate is halal. Calcium stearate is a combination of calcium and stearic acid. Stearic acid is found in hydrogenated vegetable fats or animal fats. It is commonly used as a lubricant or as an ingredient in antacids, toothpastes, and soap bars.

Calcium stearate is used in the cosmetics industry to make creams and lotions more spreadable on the skin than they would be otherwise. It can also be found in chewing gum, which has been declared halal by Muslim scholars.

Is calcium stearate kosher?

Yes, because calcium stearate is a salt, it should be considered kosher. This means that it contains no animal or dairy products, and therefore can be eaten by people who adhere to certain diets and dietary restrictions.

Is calcium stearate gluten free?

Yes, calcium stearate is gluten free. Calcium stearate is a white powder that is made from animal fat. The only ingredients in calcium stearate are calcium and stearic acid. Stearic acid is a fatty acid, so it is not derived from wheat or any other gluten-containing grain.

Is calcium stearate vegan?

Yes, calcium stearate is a white powder with a mild odor, and it’s typically used as an anti-caking agent, lubricant, and anti-static agent in food products. It can also be found in other products like soaps, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals. Calcium stearate is made by combining calcium carbonate with stearic acid (which comes from vegetable fats).

Though it’s often used in non-vegan foods and products, calcium stearate is still considered vegan because it does not contain animal products or byproducts. It is widely accepted as a safe additive for food products, so if your favorite brand of granola contains this ingredient, you’re probably safe eating it!

Is calcium stearate dairy free?

Yes, calcium stearate is dairy-free. It is made from vegetable fat and does not contain milk proteins.

Is calcium stearate toxicity?

Calcium stearate is a common, naturally occurring substance found in many foods. It’s also used in some medications and cosmetics, but it can be toxic if ingested in large quantities. Calcium stearate toxicity occurs when you consume more than the recommended daily allowance of calcium stearate.

The symptoms of calcium stearate toxicity are similar to those of other types of poisoning: nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, diarrhea, dizziness and headache. The severity of these symptoms depends on how much calcium stearate you’ve consumed and for how long.

If you suspect that you or someone else has been poisoned by calcium stearate, seek medical attention immediately.


Calcium stearate is a safe additive that gives your food that crispy texture. It is E-470a ingredients. Though the additive has been used for many years, there are controversies concerning its safety. The chemistry of calcium stearate is to create nucleation centers when in a saturated solution as well as prevent crystallization when exposed to high temperature. The solution calcium stearate causes may be in either state at any time when the temperature rapidly changes causing great concern.

Sophie Feng

Sophie Feng

Sophie Feng is the author of gradechemical.com, she is the co-founder of the grade chemical network. She has been in grade chemical company since 2017, with a working knowledge of food chemical .

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