Foods that contain calcium citrate naturally include lemons and limes, oranges and grapefruit, pineapple, hard cheeses, and certain cheese products. Considered a safe food additive, calcium citrate is used in processed foods to condition some doughs and frozen breads and as a preservative in frozen dinners, vegetables and ice cream.
Many commercially prepared foods contain calcium citrate. Usually used as a preservative, calcium citrate also provides significant dietary calcium in food. For example, American cheese is a good source of calcium, which is supplied by the calcium citrate within the cheese. However, canned and spray cheese products also contain relatively high levels of calcium citrate, as do frozen cookie doughs, waffles, canned biscuits and pizza doughs.
The best natural sources of calcium citrate are citrus fruits. Fresh lemon juice contains about 1.44 grams of citric acid – the source of calcium citrate – per ounce. Fresh lime juice contains about 1.38 grams per ounce. Even citrus concentrates and other processed citrus products such as powders and canned citrus drinks contain significant levels of calcium citrate.
In addition, calcium citrate is commonly used in dietary calcium supplements. An alternative to less-expensive sodium carbonate, some individuals digest calcium nitrate with more ease.