Review on the extraction of calcium supplements from eggshells to combat waste generation and chronic calcium deficiency

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Environmental Science and Pollution Research


When faced with a plethora of issues, the possibility of one problem becoming the solution of another is a rare, yet beneficial scenario. This report explores the prospect of viewing the accumulation of organic waste matter in India as a potential calcium reservoir to relieve the issue of calcium deficiency in the population. Waste generation has seen gradual growth, and it has created a problem of waste disposal. A large segment of the generated waste primarily consists of food waste which contains significant amounts of nutrients. Food waste such as eggshells, waste from shellfish, bones, and fish scales contain good amounts of bioavailable calcium, and large quantities of this discarded bioavailable calcium remain unused. Global studies show India to have significantly lower levels of calcium intake than the global average, thus increasing the risk of calcium deficiency-related diseases. Furthermore, research shows that for over the past half of the century, the intake of dietary calcium has declined drastically throughout India. This has led to chronic calcium deficiency-related diseases throughout most of the Indian population. Hence, development of calcium supplements from calcium-rich waste material has the potential to not only reduce the strain on waste management, but also to provide the calcium-deficient population with a cheaper alternative to traditional supplements. Owing to the abundance and ease of separation, eggshells have been chosen as the focus of the review. This review highlights and compares their extraction methods of providing cheap calcium supplements while reducing the amount of eggshell waste.

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