Monocalcium Phosphate As A Food Ingredient

Monocalcium phosphate is commonly used as a leavening agent. When combined with other raising agents, it creates a fine, uniform grain in the finished product.
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Monocalcium phosphate is a raising agent commonly found in baking powder and used as an ingredient in various bakery items. Monocalcium Phosphate is available in two forms: monohydrate and anhydrous salts. The monohydrate is comparatively fast-acting, and it is typically used in combination with slower-acting leavening agents. It releases leavening gas from baking soda during mixing, which allows it to achieve a fine, uniform grain in the baked product as long as a slower-acting leavener is also present. The anhydrous form is coated with a slowly dissolving phosphate material that delays its reaction with baking soda. This form is typically used in home baking applications. 

What is Monocalcium Phosphate?

Monocalcium phosphate has a chemical formula of CaH4P2O8.  Both salts of monocalcium phosphate are colorless solids. When monocalcium phosphate is used as a component in a ready-made baking powder, the acid and alkali ingredients are included in the proportions such that they will exactly neutralize each other and not significantly affect the overall pH of the product. Monocalcium phosphate is soluble in hydrochloric acid and nitric acid and is slightly soluble in cold water. It is almost insoluble in ethanol.

Source: Wikipedia

How is Monocalcium Phosphate Produced?

Monocalcium Phosphate is produced from natural mineral substances. In food industry applications, it is produced by partially neutralizing phosphoric acid with calcium hydroxide, followed by water evaporation at low temperatures in acidic conditions. Food-grade phosphoric acid is made from phosphate rocks, which are mined, refined, and purified.  Companies that make phosphoric acid in the U.S., Europe, and several other countries follow strict procedures to ensure purity.

Use of Monocalcium Phosphate in the Food Industry

The primary use of monocalcium phosphate in the food industry is leavening in bakery products. It helps various bakery goods to rise due to the release of carbon dioxide, resulting in light, fluffy products. It is also used in some powdered beverage products and convenience foods.

Product Examples

BakeryPancakes, Cookies, Breads, Angel Food Cake
Powdered BeverageEnergy Drink Powder, Malted Milk Powder
Convenience FoodCanned Meals

Properties of Monocalcium Phosphate

Chemical FormulaNaH2PO4
Molar Mass119.98 g/mol
AppearanceWhite powder or crystals
Density2.36 g/cm3 (anhydrous)
Solubility in Water59.90 g/100 mL (0°C)

Typical Formulations

Baked Dough

Here is an example of a baked dough formulation table with monocalcium phosphate, along with the composition of ingredients: 

IngredientsComposition (grams)
Flour 552
Yeast Food4
Monocalcium Phosphate2
Dough Flour 298
NFDM or Substitute17
Monoglycerides 4

Source: Google Patents 

Monocalcium Phosphate Formulation Considerations


Monocalcium phosphate is stable at a pH range lower than 2. Anhydrous monocalcium phosphate is stable up to 80℃. 

Effect on taste & texture of food products

Leavening agents significantly affect the structure and texture of final bakery products due to the release of CO₂. When combined with other slow-acting leavening agents, monocalcium phosphate helps to achieve a fine, uniform grain in baked goods. Monocalcium phosphate can leave a slightly bitter, astringent taste in final food products, so optimizing the dosage for various bakery goods is extremely important. 


When monocalcium phosphate is used in phosphated flour, the recommended dosage level is 0.25–0.75% of the weight of the finished flour. When used in self-rising flours, the recommended dosage should not exceed 4.5% based on flour weight. 

Safety & Regulatory Considerations

FDA InformationMonocalcium phosphate is approved by the FDA for use as a food additive when used in accordance with good manufacturing practices. It is Generally Recognised as Safe (GRAS) per Part 182, Subpart B – Multiple Purpose GRAS Food Substances.

According to Sec. 137.175, monocalcium phosphate levels in flour should be between 0.25-0.75% of the weight of the finished phosphated flour. In determining whether the ash content complies with the requirements of this section, allowance is made for added monocalcium phosphate.
EU Information Calcium phosphates, food additives E341 (I,II, and III) are listed in Commission Regulation (EU) No 231/2012 as authorized food additives and classified as “other additives than colors and sweeteners.”

Identification Numbers

Chemical NameCalcium dihydrogen phosphate
CAS Number7758-23-8
REACH Registration NumberA registration number is unavailable for this substance as the substance or its uses are exempted from registration, the annual tonnage does not require registration, or the registration is envisaged for a later registration deadline.
EC Number231-837-1
INS No. (Food Additive)341(i)
CA Index NameCalcium Phosphate Monobasic

Fun Facts About Monocalcium Phosphate

  • Monocalcium phosphate is often used in toothpaste formulations as an abrasive agent that helps remove plaque and stains from teeth. It also contributes to the creamy texture of the toothpaste.
  • In agriculture, monocalcium phosphate is utilized as a fertilizer. It provides both calcium and phosphorus to plants, essential nutrients for growth. Additionally, it can help regulate soil pH, creating a more favorable environment for plant uptake of nutrients.

Additional Resources