E526; Calcium Hydroxide
(in 387 products)

Potential Risk Index®:

ISCE InhaleISCE SwallowISCE ContactISCE Environment
PRI Legend


1. Acidity Regulator / Buffering Agent - Changes or maintains the acidity or basicity of food/cosmetics.
2. Binder / Stabilizer - Retains the physical characteristics of food/cosmetics and ensure the mixture remains in an even state.
3. Preservative - Prevents and inhibits the growth of unwanted microorganisms which may be harmful
Calcium hydroxide is a white powder prepared from lime that has many medical and industrial uses. It has many names including hydrated lime, caustic lime, builders' lime, slack lime, cal, or pickling lime.
One significant application of calcium hydroxide is as a flocculant, in water and sewage treatment. It forms a fluffy charged solid that aids in the removal of smaller particles from water, resulting in a clearer product. This application is enabled by the low cost and low toxicity of calcium hydroxide. It is also used in fresh water treatment for raising the pH of the water so that pipes will not corrode where the base water is acidic, because it is self-regulating and does not raise the pH too much.
In food industry, because of its low toxicity and the mildness of its basic properties, calcium hydroxide is widely used in the food industry to clarify raw juice from sugarcane or sugar beets in the sugar industry;
process water for alcoholic beverages and soft drinks; pickle cucumbers and other foods; make Chinese century eggs; in maize preparation: removes the cellulose hull of maize kernals; clear a brine of carbonates of calcium and magnesium in the manufacture of salt for food and pharmaceutical uses;
fortify (Ca supplement) fruit drinks, such as orange juice, and infant formula; aid digestion (called Choona, used in India in paan, a mixture of areca nuts, calcium hydroxide and a variety of seeds wrapped in betel leaves); substitute for baking soda in making papadam.
It is approved to use as food additive in EU and generally recognized as safe food substance in US.
EU CosIng Annex III Restriction Information:
(EC) No 1223/2009
Regulated By:
Product Type, body parts:
(a) Hair straighteners containing two components: calcium hydroxide and a guanidine salt
(b) pH ajuster for depilatories
(c) Other uses (e.g. pH adjuster, processing aid)
Maximum concentration in ready for use preparation:
(a) 7% (as calcium hydroxide)
(b) pH < 12.7
(c) pH < 11
Wording of conditions of use and warnings:
(a) Contains alkali
Avoid contact with eyes
Keep out of reach of children
Can cause blindness
(b) Contains alkali
Keep out of reach of children
Avoid contact with eyes
SCCS opinions:
0295/00 - Opinion on Lithium Hydroxyde and Calcium Hydroxide
Scientific References:
Regulatory References:
1. South Korea - Ministry of Food and Drug Safety - Prohibited/Restricted Chemicals
- Ref: 545
- Ref: III/15c
3. EU Approved Food Additive [2018]
- E526
4. Japan’s List of Designated Food Additives under Article 10 of the Food Sanitation Act
- Calcium Hydroxide (Slaked Lime)
5. US FDA Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) Food Substances (21 CFR 184) [2017]
- § 184.1205 - Calcium hydroxide

Safety and Hazards (UN GHS):

1. Causes severe skin burns and eye damage (H314)
2. Causes skin irritation (H315)
3. Causes serious eye damage (H318)
4. May cause respiratory irritation (H335)
5. Causes damage to organs (H370)

Potential Health Concerns For:

1. Brain Injuries, Diffuse (PubMed ID:30615914)
2. Chemical and Drug Induced Liver Injury (PubMed ID:30615914)
3. Genomic Instability (PubMed ID:30615914)

User Comments:

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