Baking Soda is probably on your kitchen counter or bathroom or somewhere in your room. Baking soda is such versatile material; multipurpose in the right sense of the word. Has it ever occurred to you that the constituents of baking soda? Have you ever wondered why baking soda functions?
Judging from the physical appearance of baking soda, people wonder if it contains starch. Baking soda is usually ingested in cakes, cookies, and similar food. Does it contain starch? Is it healthy to consume? These questions and more will be answered in this article.
No, baking soda does not contain starch. Baking Soda is Sodium Bicarbonate not starch. It is a neutral alkali that will produce gas when combined with an acid, hence its leavening properties.
The Baking Soda Explained
Baking Soda is also called bicarbonate of soda or Sodium bicarbonate. It usually appears as white granules. The only substance in Baking soda is Sodium carbonate.
It is made by the processing of soda ash. Soda Ash is gotten from salt lakes with Trona deposits.
Trona deposit is processed in the United States as the main source of baking soda as it has replaced an old process of making sodium bicarbonate in the past as in other parts of the world.
How Baking Soda Works
It is an alkaline compound; it, therefore, requires an acid during baking to produce carbon dioxide.
The gas bubbles produced from air pockets in the batter or dough causes it to rise. This is the leavening action. Baking soda requires acidic substances to work in food while baking. Acidic substances include; lemon juice, buttermilk, vinegar, and others.
Baking Soda will also give off carbon dioxide gas when it decomposes by heat. This process doesn’t require acidic substances. Baking Soda will decompose at 176°F or 80°C.
Using Baking Soda As A Multipurpose Agent
Many know Baking Soda as a “leavening agent”. It is used in baking pastries and food in such categories. Usually, the battery cannot retain shape for too long resulting in a flat shape, hence the need for a leavening agent.
Asides from its use in the kitchen or bakery, it has other known benefits.
1. It functions as a whitener
Baking Soda is believed to have whitening properties. It can be added to toothpaste or used while brushing. Since it contains whitening properties, it can also be used in laundry. It is sometimes also used in skincare routines.
2. It functions as an antacid
Since the only ingredient is sodium bicarbonate, sodium bicarbonate can neutralize stomach acid. It can be mixed in water to relieve heartburn. It should be mixed in a small proportion with water. Half a teaspoonful is enough in a glass of water to give relief.
3. It functions as a cleaning agent
Baking Soda can function as a cleaning agent. In the presence of water, baking soda can perform wonders in taking the dirt away. Its texture aids scrubbing and ensures proper cleaning. Its alkaline nature also helps dissolve material build-up or dirt deposits.
4. It helps in Bite relief
Baking soda mixed with water gives a bite relief, especially from a bee sting. It reduces itching, swelling, and pain.
Baking soda is also popular for absorbing odor. It is put in waste bins, refrigerators, and parts of the kitchen to neutralize smells.
Baking Soda: Fresh or Not?
Baking soda is usually available in many homes; hence there is a tendency to have had a pack for a while with or without use. In baking, potent or fresh baking soda will do a better job than one that has been on the kitchen outer for a long.
As long-lasting as baking soda is, its storage condition can determine whether e to reduce or increase its longevity. The better the storage condition of baking soda; the longer the shelf life. It can also decompose when kept for too long.
Potent baking soda might not be necessary for cleaning and other household purposes.
How to Identify Fresh Baking Soda
Here’s a step-by-step method to find out if baking soda is fresh or not.
- Get a clean bowl, add a little amount of baking soda to it
- Pour a little amount of lemon juice or vinegar into the bowl
- If it fizzles vigorously, then the baking soda is still potent
- Be careful when doing this, as the tendency to produce a lot of foam cannot be ruled out. It should be done in the kitchen sink.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Baking Soda Help With Weight Loss?
Baking Soda is not confirmed to help achieve weight loss, it is only believed to help boost workout.
Is Baking Soda the same as Baking Powder?
Baking Soda is not the same as baking powder, they are different. Baking Soda contains sodium bicarbonate. Baking powder contains cornstarch, sodium bicarbonate, and cream of tartar. While their functions are similar, they are used in different conditions and sometimes together in a recipe.
Is Baking Soda Different from Corn Starch?
Corn starch is different from baking soda. Their functions are also different. While baking soda acts as a leavening agent, corn starch is used as a thickening agent. They cannot be substituted.
Is Baking Soda Healthy to Consume?
Baking soda is healthy to consume whether in pastries and similar food or as a drink to relieve heartburn. The caution should be in not taking too much. It ought to be done in moderation. Baking soda is high in sodium; its consumption has to be limited.
Can I Put Baking Soda in the sauce?
It depends on your recipe, while baking soda is healthy to consume, it may not be the best in sauce except it is an experimenting recipe. Though baking soda is believed to help reduce acidity in food due to its alkaline nature, it sometimes imparts a bland taste to some food. Adding baking soda to sauce, stew or food depends on the result to be achieved.
Can I use baking Soda as a thickening agent?
There are ways to thicken your sauce and there are agents to help thicken your sauce. Baking soda is not one of them. No, you cannot use baking soda as a thickening agent. It is a leavening agent.
Baking soda is the bicarbonate of soda, Sodium bicarbonate.
It does not in any way contain starch nor is its starch. It is a multipurpose household agent. While it is being referred to as a versatile agent, it is not a one-size-fit-all-agent. It is healthy to consume, though with caution.