Calcium Carbonate


Precipitated Calcium Carbonate

INS No. 170(i)
E 170
CAS No. 471-34-1
CI Pigment White 18
CI No. 77220
EINECS No. 207-439-9

Physical Description

Calcium carbonate is an odorless, fine, white micro-crystalline powder consisting essentially of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) prepared either by grinding naturally occurring limestone or synthetically, by precipitation.

Common Uses

Calcium carbonate can be used to color food such as confectionery products, as well as pharmaceuticals.

Specifications for Food Use

EU Commission Regulation (EU) No 231/2012

Codex Provisions

Calcium carbonate is a food additive that is included in Table 3 of the General Standard of Food Additives (GSFA), and as such may be used in specified foods under the conditions of good manufacturing practices (GMP) as outlined in the Preamble of the Codex GSFA. Calcium carbonate could also be used in heat-treated butter milk of food category 01.1.1 and spices of food category 12.2.1.

Regulatory Approvals

USA: Calcium carbonate is a color additive exempt from certification and permanently listed for food use in amounts consistent with good manufacturing practice to color soft and hard candies and mints, and in inks used on the surface of chewing gum, except that it may not be used to color chocolate for which standards of identity have been promulgated under section 401 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act unless added color is authorized by such standards (21 CFR 73.70) and is permanently listed for drug use generally at GMP (21 CFR 73.1070).

JECFA: An ADI “not limited” was established at the 9th JECFA (9th Report, 1965).

EC: An ADI of not specified (EFSA, 2011).

Safety Reviews

EFSA Panel on Food Additives and Nutrient Sources added to Food (ANS); Scientific Opinion on re-evaluation of calcium carbonate (E 170) as a food additive. EFSA Journal 2011;9(7):2318 [73 pp.]. Available online
JECFA (1965) Specifications for the Identity and Purity of Food Additives and Their Toxicological evaluation: some antimicrobials, antioxidants, emulsifiers, stabilizers, flour-treatment agents, acids, and bases. FAO Nutr. Mtgs. Rept. Ser. No. 40. Available online