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Sodium bicarbonate

Sodium bicarbonate, E500 / E500ii, also known in every household as baking soda, and Bicarbonate of soda. Other names are sodium hydrogen carbonate, cooking soda, or bread soda. It is a chemical composite with the formula NaHCOᶟ. Sodium bicarbonate is a solid white crystalline powder that decomposes when heated or exposed to moisture, releasing carbon dioxide.
Sodium Bicarbonate is a multipurpose food ingredient. It is generally used in the baking industry for foods that require leavening (giving volume to bakery formulations). These foods include bread, rolls, crackers, cakes, muffins, wafers, and cookies.
Sodium Bicarbonate is also a main ingredient in the Baking powders found on supermarket shelves. These Baking powder formulations generally include Sodium Bicarbonate (Alkali), Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate or Citric Acid Anhydrous or cream of tartar or mono calcium phosphate (Acid) and maize starch or rice flour (Buffer). If more than 2 acids are used, it is often referred to as a double-acting baking powder. By using MCP, then makes the baking powder “Fast acting”. These products are all available from Bragan Chemicals.
Bicarb can also be used as an acidity regulator / pH buffer, changing, regulating, or maintaining the pH levels of various food and beverage formulas, including dough, noodles, and beverages. By controlling the pH, it enables better stability, increasing shelf life, and setting conditions in the product that are not conducive to bacterial growth.
The FDA stated that sodium bicarbonate is GRAS (Generally Recognised as Safe) as a food ingredient. This ingredient (Sodium Bicarbonate) can be found at Bragan Chemicals, one of South Africa’s largest importers and distributors.
Sodium Bicarbonate is an anti acid used to treat heartburn, and indigestion. It can neutralize excess stomach acid and make blood or urine less acidic by regulating the pH in the stomach. It is also used in Gripe Water and is a key ingredient in effervescent tablets.
Sodium Bicarb also has applications in fireworks, Fire extinguishers, disinfectants, various cleaning products, agriculture, swimming pool/water treatment and animal feeds.
The discovery of this wonder product was credited to a pharmacist by the name of “Valentin Rose the Younger” in 1801, in Berlin. John Dwight and Austin Church, two American bakers, then discovered sodium bicarbonate as a leavening agent and established the very first factory in the United Kingdom in 1848, where they then produced baking powder.
Interesting fact: Sodium bicarbonate was also mentioned in the novel “Captains Courageous” by Rudyard Kipling as being used in the 1800s preventing freshly caught fish from spoiling.

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