Calcium Carbonate

IACM Fact Sheet


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

Physical Description

Calcium carbonate is a fine, white powder consisting essentially of precipitated calcium carbonate (CaCO3) prepared either by grinding naturally occurring limestone or synthetically, by precipitation.

Common Uses

Calcium carbonate can be used to color drugs, and food such as confectionery products.


Commission Regulation (EU) No 231/2012

Codex GSFA 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.

Regulatory Approvals

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

USA: Calcium carbonate is a color additive exempt from certification and permanently listed for food use in amounts consistent with GMP to color soft and hard candies and mints, in dietary supplement tablets and capsules, and in inks used on the surface of chewing gum (21 CFR 73.70) and is permanently listed for drug use generally in amounts consistent with GMP (21 CFR 73.1070).

EC: An ADI of not specified (EFSA, 2011). EFSA has authorized use in specific food and beverage categories at quantum satis

Safety Reviews

Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives; Specifications for the Identity and Purity of Food Additives and their Toxicological Evaluation: Some Antimicrobials, Antioxidants, Emulsifiers, Stabilizers, Flour-treatment agents, acids, and bases. WHO Technical Report Series No. 339; FAO Nutrition Meetings Report Series No. 40 1965. Available online

Listing of Color Additives Exempt from Certification; Calcium Carbonate, 82 FR 51554 (Nov 7, 2017). Available online

Listing of Color Additives Exempt from Certification; Calcium Carbonate, 87 FR 58445 (Sept 27, 2022). Available online

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