Eggshell calcium tests safe for heavy metals, says ESM

By Lorraine Heller

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Dietary supplement, Heavy metal music

Eggshell ingredient firm ESM Technologies says that recent independent tests on its calcium ingredient have verified that heavy metal levels are well below legal limits, which the firm hopes will boost its uptake as a natural source of calcium.

Conducted by Frontier Global Sciences of Seattle, WA, the tests checked for levels of lead, mercury, arsenic and cadmium.

“Eggshell calcium is naturally low in heavy metals and so is the ideal source for calcium. Other natural sources of calcium, such as bone meal, oyster shell, etc. are generally much higher in heavy metals. Our intent is to make the consumer aware that an all natural, ultra-pure calcium like ESC is available and clinically proven to build bone density,”​ said ESM.

ESM’s eggshell calcium ingredient, ESC, is a crystalline calcium carbonate complex sold for nutritional supplementation. The firm says it is “ultra-refined”,​ which “virtually eliminates typical calcium supplement digestive discomfort”.

Heavy metal levels

ESC was tested using ICP-MS, a widely recognized testing method for low-level impurity analysis.

“Findings concluded that ESC is California Prop 65 compliant in all four heavy metals tested at the full daily value for calcium of 1,000 mg per day,”​ ESM said in a statement.

The firm told NutraIngredients-USA.com that ESC was found to have less than 0.009 mcg/day of lead and cadmium at the full 1,000mg dose of calcium per day. California Proposition 65, which requires that manufacturers alert consumers about the existence of cancer-causing compounds in foods, provides an upper limit of 0.5mcg/day of lead, 4.1mcg/day of cadmium and 10mcg/day arsenic.

Arsenic was present in ESC at less than 0.090mcg/day, while mercury was found at less than 0.012mcg/day.

“Lead levels in ESC were more than 50 times lower than the California Prop 65 standard and more than 1,000 times lower than USP (United States Pharmacopeia) limit for Nutritional Supplements. The remaining metals of mercury, arsenic and cadmium were 50 to 450 times lower than the California Prop 65 standard levels,”​ said ESM.

New to market

The firm said its ingredient is still “relatively new”​ to the calcium market, and is currently being used in some dietary supplement products.

“While the bulk of sales are in North America, international business inquiries are growing,” ​ESM told NutraIngredients-USA.com. “Sales of ESC as an ingredient showed a 59 percent increase in the retail health market for 2009.”

ESM will be featuring its ingredient at the Supply Side East trade show in Secaucus, New Jersey, next week.

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