ingredient information
Calcium Fumarate
Calcium makes up about 1.5% to 2.0% of the human body, with about 98% in the bones, 1% in the teeth, and the rest in tissues and the circulatory system. It has become a popular fortification nutrient in foods and beverages — in everything from cereal and orange juice to soup and bread — because of its role in preventing osteoporosis, a disease that results in bone-mass loss that makes bones susceptible to fractures. We require it throughout life: first to build bones, then to maximize bone density, to maintain adult bone mass and, later in life, to minimize bone loss and prevent osteoporosis’s debilitating effects. The National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C., recommends that children ages 4 to 8 should consume 800 mg calcium/day, preteens and teens ages 9 to 18 need 1,300 mg, adults 19 to 50 need 1,000 mg, and those 51 and older require 1,200 mg. Calcium can be obtained from dairy products and other naturally calcium-rich foods in sufficient quantities to meet these daily requirements, but that just isn’t happening, hence the rising importance of calcium-fortified products. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF), Washington, D.C., in 2002, more than 10 million people suffered from osteoporosis; this figure might climb to 12 million by 2010 if the trend continues. It’s estimated that about 75% of the U.S. population currently has calcium-deficient diets. As the awareness and incidence of osteoporosis continues to grow, so does the need for calcium-fortified products. Ideally, most nutritionists recommend foods, especially lowfat dairy products, as the best source of calcium. Milk, yogurt and cheese provide about 25% to 30% of the RDA per serving (approximately 250 to 350 mg calcium/8 oz. of milk). However, the National Dairy Council, Rosemont, IL, notes: “Low intake of dairy foods … is largely responsible for Americans’ low calcium intake. Americans are consuming an average of only 1.5 servings of dairy foods a day, or half the number of servings recommended in the Food Guide Pyramid.� So unless eating patterns drastically change, calcium fortification is here to stay. Calcium ingredients range from a variety of GRAS salts with various calcium contents — such as carbonate (40% Ca), chloride (27%), citrate (21%), gluconate (14%), lactate (14%) and phosphates (mono-, di- and tribasic with 17% to 38%); to dairy calcium (including high-calcium milk protein, and milk minerals), with calcium contents from 2% to approximately 25%; to new forms, such as a calcium amino acid, malic acid chelate complex, and calcium fumarate (19%). Choosing the best calcium form for food fortification depends on a number of technical considerations, such as bioavailability, solubility, taste, palatability, stability and effects on the final product, as well as cost and consumer preference.