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Bicarbonate of soda PDF Print E-mail

Baking powders must contain two components; a carbonate which can release carbon dioxide and a dry acid which reacts with the carbonate to cause the release. The CO2 gas causes the dough to rise. Bicarbonate of soda is the carbonate commonly used.
    

Health effects
The sodium bicarbonate and other sodium compounds used in baking powder add to the total sodium intake which may have to be considered by people on a salt-free diet. Sodium constitutes about 1 per cent by weight of the cooked product. Sour milk used as the acid component could reduce this proportion slightly.

Environmental effects
None.

Alternatives
Yeast and sour dough do not require any salt to be added (except for the sake of flavour) and very low sodium breads and cakes can be made that way. Some cakes are made using eggs for aeration, and in these very little baking powder is used.

 
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