If a beverage is not buffered correctly, or if the metal cations are not sequestered, the possibility of protein precipitation and age gelation increases as the shelf life is extended. The correct selection of a phosphate specialty can eliminate protein sedimentation in dairy beverages.

As the shelf life of dairy and plant-based beverages is extended, free calcium/magnesium will interact with proteins causing precipitation. High heat treatment of beverages leads to age gelation during shelf life due to disassociation of protein complexes and formation of a three-dimensional protein matrix which appears as a thick gel.

Phosphate salts help extend shelf-life of beverages through preventing protein to protein interactions, reactions with insoluble calcium salts and protein, stabilize pH in the system which prevent proteins from aggregating due to nearing the isoelectric point. They also slow the disassociation of protein complexes which leads to age gelation.