Calcium propionate, the calcium salt of propanoic acid, is used as a food preservative in bread and other bakery products to prevent the growth of bacteria and mold. Read this Buzzle article to know the benefits and side effects of this commonly used food preservative.
What Happens in Horses?
All racing horses are tested for Total Carbon Dioxide (TCO2) by the respective Office of Racing Commissioner (ORC). Calcium propionate present in the feed can raise the TCO2 in horses beyond the acceptable levels. It is believed that elevated TCO2 levels help enhance the performance of the horse by canceling the effects (like fatigue) of naturally accumulated lactic acid (it builds up during vigorous exercise). The horse with a positive test is declared ineligible to race, and the trainer is held responsible for the offense.
Research and several studies have shown that calcium propionate (also known as calcium propanoate or Mycoban) acts as an antifungal and antibacterial agent, and hence, it is used as a preservative in several food products. Like sodium propanoate, it prevents the growth of rope bacteria and mold in food. It comes in the form of powder or white crystals, and its molecular formula is C6H10CaO4.
✦ Certain studies show that both calcium and sodium propionate if consumed in excessive amounts can damage the delicate lining of your stomach permanently. This can lead to serious health problems.
Although it is not scientifically proved that use of calcium propionate as a food preservative leads to serious health problems, it is always safe to consume preservative-free products that are meant to be consumed fresh. Moreover, you can always buy organic food (100% preservative-free). If the consumers continue to demand foods that have a longer shelf life, manufacturers have no other option than using preservatives.