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Importance of Sodium Bicarbonate

clock2016-09-08

What is Sodium Bicarbonate?

Sodium bicarbonate is a salt composed of sodium ions and bicarbonate ions. Sodium bicarbonate is a white solid that is crystalline but often appears as a fine powder. It has a slightly salty, alkaline taste. The natural mineral form of sodium bicarbonate is nahcolite. It can also be produced artificially as well.

As a food additive encoded by the European Union, indentified as E500, sodium bicarbonate is widely used as a food additive and has long been known as baking soda, bread soda, cooking soda, and bicarbonate of soda. Apart from being a food additive, sodium bicarbonate can also be used in many other industries, such as medicine.

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Uses of Sodium Bicarbonate as Food Additive

Sodium bicarbonate, referred to as "baking soda", is primarily used in baking, as a leavening agent. It reacts with acidic components in batters, releasing carbon dioxide, which causes expansion of the batter and forms the characteristic texture and grain in pancakes, cakes, quick breads, soda bread, and other baked and fried foods. Acidic compounds that induce this reaction include phosphates, cream of tartar, lemon juice, yogurt, buttermilk, cocoa and vinegar. Natural acids in sourdough can be leavened with the addition of small amounts as well. Sodium bicarbonate can be substituted for baking powder provided sufficient acid reagent is also added to the recipe. Many forms of baking powder contain sodium bicarbonate combined with calcium acid phosphate, sodium aluminium phosphate or cream of tartar.

Sodium Bicarbonate is an important component of baking soda. This product is not only limited kitchen use and baking. Baking soda can be used as a whitening agent for the teeth. If you have halitosis, you can dissolve this in water and gargle it to remove bad breath. It is also a cleansing agent. It can remove stains and smells from your clothes. Clean your kitchen utensils and many others. One of the most popular uses for baking soda is for relieving itches. It can also work like cornstarch as it promotes cleanliness.

 

Which Foods Contain Sodium Bicarbonate?

Baked Foods

Baking soda is a leavening agent used to make dough rise. Baking soda is alkalizing, and when mixed with an acid, such as buttermilk, yogurt or sugar, carbon dioxide is formed.

Digesting Beans and Legumes

Soak beans overnight in a solution of 98 percent water 2 percent baking soda - you only need enough to cover the beans. The alkalizing effect of baking soda will soften the fiber in the beans and start to dissolve the protein, making the beans easier to digest after cooking.

Effervescent Drinks

Sodium bicarbonate makes soda fizzy by producing carbon dioxide gas when mixed with an acid such as phosphoric acid or carbonic acid found in many colas.

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