As a food additive, it is listed as E number 282 in the Codex Alimentarius. Calcium propanoate is used as a preservative in a wide variety of products, including but not limited to: bread, other baked goods, processed meat, whey, and other dairy products. In agriculture, it is used, amongst other things, to prevent milk fever in cows and as a feed supplement.Propanoates prevent microbes from producing the energy they need, like benzoates do. However, unlike benzoates, propanoates do not require an acidic environment.
Calcium propanoate is used in bakery products as a mold inhibitor, typically at 0.1-0.4%. (though animal feed may contain up to 1%). Mold contamination is considered a serious problem amongst bakers, and conditions commonly found in baking present near-optimal conditions for mold growth.