The Vegetarian Resource Group Blog

Calcium Stearate

Posted on September 01, 2015 by The VRG Blog Editor

By Jeanne Yacoubou, MS

Alternate Names: calcium octadecanoate; octadecanoic acid, calcium salt; stearic acid, calcium salt; calcium distearate; E470a

Commercial Source: mineral-plant

Used in: dry mixes, spices, salt, snack foods, confections, pastries, chewing gum, yeast, dietary supplements

Used as: anti-caking agent, binder, emulsifier, lubricant, release agent, flavoring additive, stabilizer, thickener

Definition: Calcium stearate formed from a reaction between a calcium-containing compound and either a stearate-containing compound or stearic acid is often used as an anti-caking agent in food or as a release agent or lubricant in pharmaceuticals and confections. Many non-food industries such as personal care, construction and paper also use calcium stearate.


Email reply: “Our vegetable-based calcium…stearate is made from palm oil.” Phone response: Food grade vegetable-based calcium stearate is “typically the industry standard” today.

(vegetable source listed by clicking on number to the left of chemical name under list titled “Stearate Products”)

Silver Fern told The VRG on the phone that “…the standard today is vegetable-based [stearates] especially for food use.”

A Seidler Chemical employee told The VRG that “in all of the pharmaceutical industry no one wants tallow-based calcium stearate…I haven’t received a call for [tallow-based calcium stearate] in years for pharmaceuticals or food.”

Looking at sales data from 2007 to the present, a Brenntag Specialties employee said that “almost all” or “a big majority” of all calcium stearate sold was vegetable-based although they do carry a food grade, tallow-based calcium stearate.

A Brenntag NE employee told The VRG that a food-grade, tallow-based calcium stearate “is not sold anymore…” (enter “calcium stearate”; click on Dietary Statement PDF in the bottom right corner for a vegan declaration)

An employee emailed The VRG that their calcium stearate has “no animal involved.”

An employee emailed The VRG that “…our food grade calcium stearate is from plant fat, not animal fat.”

This Indian company sells food grade calcium stearate derived from “edible tallow.”

Additional Information:

(paragraph 12 in section titled Description and throughout section titled Materials and Methods)

Classification: Vegan* Although it is possible to derive calcium stearate from animal fats, it is not standard practice today in the food industry and no examples of tallow-derived calcium stearate in foods or pharmaceuticals are known.

Entry Updated: August 2015

For information about more ingredients, see

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The contents of this posting, our website and our other publications, including Vegetarian Journal, are not intended to provide personal medical advice. Medical advice should be obtained from a qualified health professional. We often depend on product and ingredient information from company statements. It is impossible to be 100% sure about a statement, info can change, people have different views, and mistakes can be made. Please use your best judgement about whether a product is suitable for you. To be sure, do further research or confirmation on your own.

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