Preservation of Bread

Calcium propionate is an effective inhibitor of certain moulds and some bacteria. It is widely used in bread to prevent mould and to inhibit the development of Bacillus Mesentericus which causes rope. Baking kills moulds but atmospherically borne mould spores can be picked up after baking. Strict baking hygiene can reduce the incidence of spores but cannot eliminate them totally. Using a preservative thus helps extend the mould-free shelf life of the product. The rate of mould development on bread is affected by many factors including the number and type of spores, storage temperature and humidity and the recipe used. Wrapped, sliced bread is very susceptible to mould.

Method of Use

Since many factors affect the rate of mould growth on bread, the usage level of calcium propionate cannot be correlated exactly with the extension of the shelf life. In general, for standard bread recipes, a concentration of 0,2% – 0,4% calcium propionate based on flour mass is recommended. Although at this concentration a propionic acid odour may be noticed when the bread is still hot, this will rapidly disappear during cooling. Calcium propionate can be added along with the other minor dry ingredients of the bread either at the start of dough mixing or in a premix.



Under normal conditions of use calcium propionate does not present any undue health hazard.


In case of eye contact, immediately flush the eye with clean water, holding it open if necessary. Obtain medical attention.


In case of skin contact, rinse with water. Remove contaminated clothing and wash thoroughly before re-use.


Wash out the mouth with water. Obtain medical attention.

Fire and explosion hazard

Calcium propionate presents little fire hazard. Provision of suitable ventilation will reduce the risk of explosion in the event of a high dust concentration.


To the best of Orthochem’s knowledge, the infomation contained in this publication is accurate. Orthochem does not accept any liability for the use of the information contained herein in any way.

Typical Analysis by Mass

Product: Calcium Propionate Food Grade Fine Agglomerate
Formula: (CH3CH2COO)2Ca
CAS REG N°: 4075-81-4
Description: Fine, white, agglomerate, odourless to faint propionic acid odour
Assay (dry basis): Not less than 99%
Moisture: Not more than 6,5%
Insoluble substances: Not more than 0,20%
pH of 1% solution: 6,5 – 9,5
Arsenic: Not more than 3 ppm
Iron: Not more than 30 ppm
Lead: Not more than   2 ppm
Heavy metals (as lead): Not more than 5 ppm
Fluoride: Not more than 30 ppm
Magnesium (as MgO): Not more than 0,40%
Bulk density (tapped): 0,48 – 0,56
Particle size range: 60% above 106 micron
Packing: 25 kg in woven polypropylene sack with polyethylene liner.
Storage: Store in a cool, clean, dry place.
Shelf life: Two years from date of manufacture.