A salt is a compound derived from the joining of one positive ion (other than hydrogen H+) with one negative ion (other than hydroxide OH- ion). Ions can be metals (sodium, potassium), non-metals (carbon), acids (lactic acid) or bases, each providing either a positive or negative ion. Salts are usually very soluble in water.
Table salt, or sodium chloride, is well known for its flavor enhancing and preservative qualities, but in molecular gastronomy, calcium salts are used for gelling with sodium alginate.
Three calcium salts, derivatives of three acids (lactic, gluconic, chloric), are usually used in molecular gastronomy. However, calcium lactate is more popular, since it leaves no aftertaste, whereas calcium chloride leaves a certain bitterness in the mouth, even after rinsing the spheres with water.
The acid part of calcium lactate is derived from lactic acid, an acid available during the fermentation of sugars by lactobacilli bacteria. These same bacteria are needed to make yogurt, cheese and wine. For people with calcium deficiency, calcium lactate is one of the most recommended supplements due to its high absorption rates.
Calcium lactate is found in milk powder, but it is also used as a substrate for yeast in bakery products, an acidity stabilizer in baking powder, and a firming agent for grapefruit and canned peas.
Did you know?
CALCIUM LACTATE increases the remineralization of enamel when added to chewing gum containing xylitol.
CALCIUM LACTATE is found in many aged cheeses, where it is produced by bacteria during the aging process.
CALCIUM LACTATE is used as a firming agent for fresh-cut fruits and vegetables as well as processed fish to prevent the degradation of their texture.
CALCIUM LACTATE is prescribed to treat calcium deficiency and osteoporosis.