Calcium citrate is the calcium salt derived from citric acid. Therefore, foods rich in naturally-occurring citric acid contain calcium citrate, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Listed as citric acid on food labels, calcium citrate is considered a safe food additive. It is also present in most plants and animals.
Lemons and Limes
Pure lemon juice contains 1.44 grams per ounce of calcium citrate, or citric acid. Concentrates made from lemon juice contain an average of 1.1 grams per ounce of the substance. Other lemon juice products that are high in calcium citrate include lemonade and lemon-based mixtures. These commercially-prepared, ready-to-drink beverages contain varying amounts from .03 to .22 gram per ounce.
Lime juice is another rich source of the calcium citrate, containing 1.38 grams per ounce. Juice concentrates made from lime juice can contain as much as 1.06 grams per ounce of beverage.
Grapefruit and oranges can contain calcium citrate as well, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), though in lesser amounts than lemons and limes. This includes commercially-prepared orange juice, orange juice concentrate and juice squeezed from the fresh orange.
Various forms of pineapple and its byproducts can contain calcium citrate. Fresh pineapple, pineapple juice, pineapple concentrate, pineapple toppings, and products sold as a pineapple mixture can all contain calcium citrate.
Calcium citrate (as citric acid) helps to produce acids required for enzyme activity in cheese manufacturing. In addition to hard cheeses, calcium citrate can be found in processed cheeses such as American, bottled cheese spreads or canned cheeses.
Calcium citrate is used as a dough conditioner in a variety of frozen foods, according to the USDA. It can be found in frozen bread dough, bagels, waffles, pancakes, dumplings, prepared cookie mixtures, a variety of cakes, brownies, pies, cornbreads, biscuits, popovers, rolls, croissants and muffins. Dough conditioners are also used in pizza dough, canned biscuits and in-store bakery items.
Other frozen foods items that can contain calcium citrate as a preservative include lunch and dinner entrees, pot pies, whole or sliced fruit combinations, ice cream, sorbets and other frozen sweet novelties, hash browns and potato products, sauces and vegetables.
- USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference; Release 20, USDA; 2008
- Journal of Endourology; Quantitative Assessment of Citric Acid in Lemon Juice, Lime Juice, and Commercially-Available Fruit Juice Products; Kristina L. Penniston, M.D.; March 2008
- Food and Drug Administration: Calcium citrate