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Calcium dihydrogen phosphate
Calcium hydrogen phosphate
Tricalcium phosphate - Ca3(PO4)2

Calcium phosphate is the name given to a family of minerals containing calcium ions (Ca2+) together with orthophosphates (PO43-), metaphosphates or pyrophosphates (P2O74-) and occasionally hydrogen or hydroxide ions.

It is the principal form of calcium found in bovine milk. Seventy percent of bone is made up of hydroxyapatite, a calcium phosphate mineral. Tooth enamel is also largely calcium phosphate.


Chemical Properties

Unlike most other compounds calcium phosphate is increasingly insoluble at higher temperatures. Thus heating causes precipitation.

In milk it is found in higher concentrations than would be possible at the normal pH because it exists in a colloidal form in micelles bound to casein protein with Magnesium, zinc and citrate - collectively referred to as colloidal calcium phosphate (CCP) [1]


For the production of phosphoric acid and fertilizers, for example in the Odda process. Overuse of certain forms of calcium phosphate can lead to nutrient-containing surface runoff and subsequent adverse effects upon receiving waters such as algal blooms and eutrophication.

Calcium phosphate is used in baking as a raising agent, with E number E341. It is also used in cheese products.

Tricalcium phosphate is also used as a nutritional supplement[2] and occurs naturally in cow milk, although the most common and economical forms for supplementation are calcium carbonate (which should be taken with food) and calcium citrate (which can be taken without food).[3] Hydroxyapatite (e.g. calcium hydrogen phospate) as a food supplement has not been currently studied well, so its usage as a supplement is discouraged.[3]

It is used in a variety of dental products for remineralization and as a diluent in some medications where it will give the tablet a grey colour in the absence of additional colouring agents.[4]

Another practical application of the compound is its use in gene transfection of cells.[5] It is not too well understood, but the calcium phosphate precipitate and DNA form a complex that is thought to help the DNA enter the cell.

Calcium phosphate compounds


  1. ^ Brined cheeses, The Society of Dairy Technology (SDT) edited By A. Y. Tamime, Wiley-Blackwell, 2006 ISBN 1405124601, 9781405124607
  2. ^ Bonjour JP, Carrie AL, Ferrari S, Clavien H, Slosman D, Theintz G, Rizzoli R (March 1997). "Calcium-enriched foods and bone mass growth in prepubertal girls: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial". J. Clin. Invest. 99 (6): 1287–94. doi:10.1172/JCI119287. PMID 9077538. PMC 507944. Retrieved 2009-10-25.  
  3. ^ a b Straub DA (June 2007). "Calcium supplementation in clinical practice: a review of forms, doses, and indications". Nutr Clin Pract 22 (3): 286–96. PMID 17507729.  
  4. ^ Weiner, Myra L.; Lois A. Kotkoskie (1999). Excipient Toxicity and Safety. pp. 81. ISBN 0824782100, 9780824782108.  
  5. ^ Kingston RE, Chen CA, Rose JK (August 2003). 9. "Calcium phosphate transfection.". Curr Protoc Mol Biol.. doi:10.1002/0471142727.mb0901s63. PMID 18265332. Retrieved 2010-01-13.  

Simple English

Calcium phosphate is a chemical compound. Its chemical formula is Ca3(PO4)2, although there are other formulas, like Ca2HPO4 (dicalcium phosphate) and Ca(H2PO4)2 (monocalcium phosphate). It is made of calcium and phosphate ions.



It is a white or gray solid. It becomes more insoluble when heated; most chemicals become more soluble (more easily dissolved).


It is found in teeth, bones, and milk. It is found in the ground, too.


It is used to make phosphoric acid. It is used to make fertilizer.

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