How does baking powder react

  baking powder is a leavening agent used in baking. It is a mixture of (mostly) sodium hydrogen carbonate (common name: bicarbonate of soda) and an acidifier, often disodium dihydrogen diphosphate (E 450a) or monocalcium orthophosphate (E 341a), an acidic salt. So-called natural baking powders contain citric acid (E 330) or tartaric acid (E 334) as acidulants; also Weinstein (E 336). Phosphate-free baking powders have a more neutral taste, but are usually more expensive.


The baking soda reacts with the acid through heat and moisture and releases carbon dioxide (CO2) free, which creates small gas bubbles and loosens the dough. The chemical reaction can be formulated as follows:


This achieves a similar drive as when using yeast in yeast dough and bacteria in sourdough, where CO2 arises. The addition of baking soda shortens the preparation time, as yeasts and bacteria produce CO2 need more time (between half an hour and a day). The types of dough, however, differ considerably in taste and consistency.

Baking powder is used for batter. Raising is usually not desired in shortcrust pastry, in sourdough and yeast dough the driving gas is generated by bacteria or fungi.


The baking powder was invented by Eben Norton Horsford, a former student of Justus von Liebig. There he was from Bonn pharmacist and entrepreneur Ludwig Clamor Marquart, founder of the company Marquart's chemical paraphernalia warehouse (today: C. Gerhardt), supported. Horsford experimented from 1856 initially with acidic calcium phosphate and sodium hydrogen carbonate. Marquart, on the other hand, was the first to produce baking powder industrially as part of his company.

In 1854 Horsford founded the Rumford Chemical Work and sold the new agent produced there under the name yeast powder (Yeast powder). Liebig was able to improve the remedy further by adding potassium chloride, and Horsford left the remedy as baking powder patent. The ensuing US Civil War created great demand for baking powder, and Horsford had to constantly expand its manufacturing facilities.

Liebig carried out further work on baking powder and bread baking in 1868 when there was a great famine in East Prussia.

The success of modern baking powder finally began with August Oetker, who acquired the Aschoffsche Apotheke in Bielefeld in 1891. Oetker not only further developed the recipe, but also cleverly marketed the product in the smallest portions to housewives for baking cakes, instead of to bakers for baking bread as was previously the case. From 1893 he filled his baking powder Backin From 1898 he went over to mass production, and on September 21, 1903 he had the corresponding process patented. The baking powder is still used today by Dr. August Oetker KG produced in the same recipe.

Category: Food Chemistry