Last Updated on December 18, 2020
Is baking powder bad for you? Should you stop using it in your baked goods because it is bad for your health? Well, you came to the right place. This article will provide you the answers in knowing what baking powder is, how it works, its types, and why it can be bad for you.
What is Baking Powder?
Baking powder has sodium bicarbonate. It is acidic since it is a complete leavening agent. That is why it is commonly used without additional acidic ingredients. And it only requires a liquid to become activated. However, single-acting baking powders are usually for food manufacturers. And not typically accessible for household use. The double-acting type is the most common kind of baking powder.
Also, the double-acting type of baking powder produces two distinct reactions. The first reaction occurs when mixed with liquid at room temperature. And the second reaction happens once the mixture has been heated. Likewise, it is favorable to have an extended reaction because the rising and leavening do not occur simultaneously.
Moreover, baking powder is made up of the cream of tartar, cornstarch, and baking soda. It is also a combination of a weak acid that is utilized to lighten the texture and add baked goods. Hence, it is a dry chemical leaving agent.
Single-acting Baking Powders
They are categorized through the kind of acid they use, especially cream of tartar that produces gas instantly when combined with baking soda and a liquid. For instance, aluminum sulfate powders react more gradually at room temperature, although they give a bitter flavor to the batter. On the other hand, slower single-acting baking powders are phosphate baking powder with either disodium pyrophosphate or calcium phosphate. Hence, single-acting baking powder immediately creates most of its gas when combined with a liquid.
Double-acting Baking Powders
This the most common type of baking powder commercially since a small quantity of gas is released when combined with a liquid. For this reason, this type of powder allows a batter to last longer in an unbaked condition. Ammonia is a less often type of baking powder that results in an airy, light product yet can give an ammonia taste if not properly used. In addition to that, it is commonly used in baking flat cookies, making it easier to dissipate the ammonia smell.
How Does Baking Powder Work?
It works by releasing CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) into a dough or batter through an acid-base reaction resulting in bubbles in the wet mixture. When the fermentation flavors are unpleasant, baking powder is ideal rather than yeast. Likewise, it is the preferred option whenever the batter lacks the elastic structure to hold gas bubbles, or there is a need to speed the production.
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Is Baking Powder Bad for You?
It is not good for you because it has sodium bicarbonate that belongs to a group of drugs known as antacids. Likewise, it is a generic drug to treat upset stomachs caused by acid reflux irritation. In addition to that, sodium bicarbonate is safe enough to consume for most people as an antacid a couple of times. However, it can have problems if not utilized properly.
For example, excessive baking powder will not make the end cake batter. Also, it will make its taste unpleasant. It is best to add the recommended quantity to achieve your baked goods’ best result. Besides, it can lead to serious complications due to allergic reactions and overdoses.
Though, all the baking powders contain sodium bicarbonate, similar to baking soda. It also has two kinds of acids. Monocalcium phosphate is one of these acids, and it does not react with the sodium bicarbonate while it is dry. However, the moment it is combined into a wet batter or dough, both ingredients start to react. In the process, it releases bubbles of CO2 that results in chemical leavening.
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Baking Powder’s Shelf Life
It can last for about 6 to 18 months. It is ideal for keeping it in a cool, dry place. Avoid putting it in the refrigerator since moisture can spoil it. Add a small amount of water to it, and if it fizzes, then it is still good.
It would be best to look for the appropriate proportion of acid and base to achieve the best results. For this reason, baked goods can vary significantly in their distinct acidity level. That is why it is best to add small quantities to your baked goods since baking powder can be bad for you, especially in high amounts.
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