Calcium-binding capacity of organic and inorganic ortho- and polyphosphates

E.J.P. de Kort, M. Minor, T.H.M. Snoeren, A.C.M. van Hooijdonk, E. van der Linden

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30 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this research was to determine the calcium-binding capacity of inorganic and organic ortho- and polyphosphates. This calcium-binding capacity can be used to influence the stability of, for example, casein micelles in dairy systems. Four phosphates were selected: disodium uridine monophosphate (Na2UMP, organic orthophosphate), disodium hydrogen phosphate (Na2HPO4, inorganic orthophosphate), sodium phytate (SP, organic polyphosphate), and sodium hexametaphosphate (SHMP, inorganic polyphosphate). Concentrations of up to 100 mmolL-1 phosphate were added to a 50 mmolL-1 CaCl2 solution. The samples were prepared at pH 8.0 and were analyzed before and after sterilization for calcium-ion activity, conductivity, pH, sediment, and turbidity. Both SHMP and SP are strong chelators, as calcium ions bind to these phosphates in the ratio of 3:1 and 6:1, respectively. Calcium ions also strongly bind to Na2HPO4, but in a ratio of 3:2 with insoluble Ca3(PO4)2 complexes as result. The equilibrium position of Na2UMP is not strong towards the chelated complex, and significant levels of free calcium and free phosphate can exist. An equilibrium constant of Lmol-1 was determined for calcium uridine monophosphate (CaUMP) complexes. Both calculation of the equilibrium constant and analysis on the CaUMP precipitate confirmed a reactivity of 1:1 between calcium and Na2UMP. The CaUMP complexes are well soluble at ambient temperature, and insoluble complexes appear after sterilization, because the solubility of CaUMP decreases during heating. Finally, we concluded that the structure of phosphate molecules determines their calcium-binding capacity rather than organic or inorganic origin of phosphates
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)283-299
JournalDairy Science and Technology
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • hexametaphosphate oxalate citrate
  • metal-ion interactions
  • casein micelles
  • uridine 5'-monophosphate
  • complexing agents
  • phosphate
  • milk
  • nucleotides
  • stability
  • turbidity

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