The influence of added calcium chloride (1-10 mmol/L) on the heat-induced coagulation of skim bovine milk was examined. Unconcentrated milk displayed a pH-heat coagulation time (HCT) profile with a maximum at pH 6.6 and minimum at pH 7.0. Adding calcium chloride to unconcentrated milk progressively reduced the HCT at the maximum, increased the pH at which the maximum occurred and reduced the HCT at pH > 7.0. For concentrated milk, the shape of the pH-HCT profile, that is, a maximum at pH 6.6, was not altered by added calcium chloride, but HCT was reduced progressively with increasing concentration of calcium chloride. Preheating (90 degrees C for 10 min) shifted the maximum in the pH-HCT profile of unconcentrated milk to a more acidic pH, and addition of 5 mmol/L calcium chloride to preheated milk induced changes in heat stability similar to those noted for unheated milk. Addition of calcium chloride to milk prior to preheating strongly reduced the stability of milk against heat-induced coagulation. These data suggest that calcium has a strong destabilizing effect on the stability of milk systems against heat-induced coagulation..