E526 - Calcium Hydroxide

Published on: 14/10/2021 | Last Updated: 14/10/2021
E526 - Calcium Hydroxide

Characteristic: The food additive E 526 is known in scientific circles as calcium hydroxide, and for ordinary people it is slaked lime. In the international classification E 526 ranks among emulsifiers


The food additive E 526 is known in scientific circles as calcium hydroxide, and for ordinary people it is slaked lime. In the international classification E 526 ranks among the emulsifiers performing the functions of acidity regulators and thickeners.

Calcium hydroxide is formed by the interaction of water with calcium oxide - a process known to all as quenching lime. In the end, a dry white fine crystalline powder is obtained, which dissolves very well in water and glycerin, also in ethyl alcohol. A natural source of the substance is the mineral portlandite, which means that E 526 can rightly be considered a natural emulsifier.

The substance must be handled with extreme care, determined by level 3 hazard.


The additive can be found in food products such as: butter, grape juice, cocoa products, nutmeg, wine, sweet frozen products, dried fish. Used for pickling cucumbers and others, it can be contained in corn flour, added to beverages in order to increase their calcium content. Calcium hydroxide solution is used to store eggs, to regulate the acidity in frozen products (in a ratio of sugar 1: 3), to strengthen the structure of vegetables during processing.

E 526 is rarely used in the food industry. Most often, the calcium hydroxide solution is used in other areas: construction, glassmaking, oil refining, wastewater treatment, dentistry, textile industry.

Impact on humans

The additive E 526 does not harm human health if used in moderation. With an excess of calcium hydroxide in the body, especially in pure form, may occur: difficulty breathing, hypotension, paralysis of skeletal muscles. 

More on the topic:
  • E524 Sodium hydroxide
  • E528 Magnesium hydroxide
  • E172 Iron oxides and hydroxides
  • E525 Potassium hydroxide

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