Successful Formulation of Calcium Nutritional Supplements With Specialty Minerals Precipitated Calcium Carbonates

There has been increasing recognition of the dramatic lack of calcium in the diets of most people around the world. As a country’s population ages, with people living longer, the incidence, and debilitating consequences of osteoporosis are also increasing. Many governments, along with organizations such as the International Osteoporosis Foundation and its individual country units,  have increased emphasis on educating their citizens about the prevention of this disease. (You can click on the link below to read more about osteoporosis.)

While the goal has been for individuals to increase  calcium intake through  the foods they eat, it is difficult or impossible for most to accomplish this. Adding calcium-containing nutritional or dietary supplements to a person's daily regimen is one of the ways to increase calcium intake.

Nutritional supplement manufacturers have responded to this world need by formulating a range of high-quality calcium supplements in a variety of forms.  Not only are traditional calcium tablets available, but calcium soft chews, calcium soft gels, calcium effervescents, high-calcium nutrition bars, and high-calcium liquid supplements and the powders to make them, are also available. 

Calcium Carbonate As A Calcium Source For Nutritional Supplements
Calcium carbonate is one of the most widely used sources of calcium used in dietary supplements. It has many advantages:

  • Highest calcium content—calcium carbonate contains 40 percent elemental calcium, so less is needed to provide a given level of elemental calcium.
  • High bioavailability—calcium carbonate is as bioavailable as the calcium in milk, and is among the most highly bioavailable calcium compounds. 
  • Economical to purchase— calcium carbonate is one of the most inexpensive forms of calcium used in nutritional supplements.
  • Economical in use—the combination of being less expensive and needing to use less for the desired calcium dosage results in an extremely low-cost supplement—a fraction of the cost of using other calcium salts.
  • Excellent taste—while some claim that the use of calcium carbonate causes a “chalky” taste in forms such as nutritional bars, liquid supplements or soft chews, the reality is just the opposite. There are many successful nutritional products on the market that use calcium carbonate as the source of calcium—and they taste great!
  • High purities—there are grades of precipitated calcium carbonates (PCCs) from Specialty Minerals Inc. (SMI) that contain ultra-low levels of lead, for those who must comply with the requirements of California Proposition 65.
  • Formulating flexibility—Specialty Minerals offers 20 precipitated calcium carbonate products of  different particle shapes and sizes. The combinations of shape and size result in a wide variety of physical properties, so a formulator can better match the calcium source to the physical and sensory properties desired.


Specialty Minerals Calcium Carbonates For Nutritional Supplements
Formulators of nutritional supplements can choose from six ranges of precipitated calcium carbonates to optimize the properties and performance of the particular type of supplement to be manufactured. Particles range in size from a true nano PCC of 0.07 microns up to ultra-dense PCCs of 12 microns in size. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes and surface areas to suit different applications. Here are some of the shapes available: