Calcium hydroxide is an odorless white powder. It’s used in industrial settings, such as sewage treatment, paper production, construction, and food processing. It also has medical and dental uses. For example, root canal fillings often contain calcium hydroxide.
Food-grade lime is the form of calcium hydroxide used in food.
Some ways calcium hydroxide is used in food:
Pickling and calcium hydroxide
Pickling lime is sometimes used during the pickling process to give pickles an extra crunch. It’s a form of food-grade calcium hydroxide. Traditional canning recipes usually suggest soaking freshly sliced cucumbers or other vegetables in pickling lime for 10 to 24 hours before canning them. During this step, the calcium in pickling lime binds to pectin, making it firmer.
People in Central America have been using calcium hydroxide to process corn for thousands of years. They soak raw kernels in water mixed with calcium hydroxide. This process makes it easier to process corn into flour. It also releases important nutrients from the corn, such as niacin.
Today, most products made with corn flour (masa harina) — such as tortillas, sopes, or tamales — contain calcium hydroxide.
Calcium hydroxide is also used to process certain sugars. For example, sugar cane and sugar beets are sometimes prepared using a refining process called carbonatation. During carbonatation, an untreated sugar solution is mixed with calcium hydroxide. This process removes impurities and improves the stability of the product.
Fortified fruit juice
Fruit juices are sometimes fortified with calcium for added nutritional value. There are many ways to do this. Adding calcium hydroxide is just one of them.
Calcium Hydroxide - Agriculture
Calcium hydroxide is an inorganic compound used for many purposes. It is also called slaked lime, and its aqueous solution is called limewater.
CAS NO: 1305-62-0
It is obtained as colorless crystals or a white powder with a density of 2.21 g/cm³ and melting point of 580 °C. Calcium hydroxide solutions can cause chemical burns.
· The most commonly used from of calcium hydroxide is in its suspended form, where it is used as lime.
· It is known for its potent flocculant properties.
· Calcium hydroxide can also be used for the neutralization of acids in anti-microbial and anti-mildew formulas in order to form a stable fungicide.
· It can also be used in aquariums in order to provide various organisms with naturally occurring calcium.
· Calcium hydroxide is often used in the production of petroleum oils, brake pads, sugar, certain types of rubber, dry mixes for paint, calcium stearate, soft drinks and alcoholic beverages.
· Native Americans use it for certain cooking purposes as well.
· It is also used in dentistry for the root canal procedures.
Calcium hydroxide has many industrial application, such as in the Kraft paper process, as a flocculent in water and sewage treatment, in the preparation of ammonia, and as a pH modifier. It is also an important ingredient in cement, plaster and mortars. As a fairly non-toxic and mild base, it has many uses in the food industry, including pH adjustment, calcium fortification, digestion aid, and baking soda substitute.