E 404 Calcium alginate – EU specification

COMMISSION REGULATION (EU) No 231/2012 of 9 March 2012


Calcium salt of alginate



Chemical name: Calcium salt of alginic acid

Chemical formula: (C 6 H 7 Ca 1/2 O 6 ) n

Molecular weight: 10 000-600 000 (typical average)

Assay: Yields, on the anhydrous basis, not less than 18 % and not more than 21 % carbon dioxide corresponding to not less than 89,6 % and not more than 104,5 % of calcium alginate (calculated on an equivalent weight basis of 219)


Nearly odourless, white to yellowish fibrous or granular powder


Test for calcium: Passes test

Test for alginic acid: Passes test


Loss on drying: Not more than 15,0 % (105 °C, 4 hours)

Formaldehyde: Not more than 50 mg/kg

Arsenic: Not more than 3 mg/kg

Lead: Not more than 5 mg/kg

Mercury: Not more than 1 mg/kg

Cadmium: Not more than 1 mg/kg

Microbiological criteria

Total plate count: Not more than 5 000 colonies per gram

Yeast and moulds: Not more than 500 colonies per gram

Escherichia coli: Absent in 5 g

Salmonella spp.: Absent in 10 g