Baking powder is a component of many cakes and pastries. You can find it in almost every recipe and everyone who at least once baked or tried to bake some cake or bread knows about it. Baking powder is designed to loosen and cause the growing of homemade cakes. It has been widely used for over one hundred and twenty years. Is it necessary and healthy? How does this agent affect our body? Let's take a closer look at him.
Work on the discovery of an agent facilitating the baking of bread and cakes began in the middle of the nineteenth century. The baking powder was finally "invented" in 1856 by the eminent German chemist Justus von Lebieg. Together with his American assistant Eben Norton Horsford, he quickly spread the invention in the United States. In 1869, a "baking mix" packaged in metal cans appeared on sale. In the nineties of the nineteenth century, another German pharmacist named August Oetker perfected the composition of the powder, thanks to which it had a longer shelf life and, importantly, did not change the taste of baked goods. He also came up with a sensational idea of changing the packaging from bulky cans into ten-gram paper bags. At the beginning, he sold the center he had perfected in his own pharmacy. However, in a short time, demand exceeded the supply and production capacity of a small, adaptive workshop. Soon after, a manufacturing plant was created, which gave birth to one of the largest nutritional brands in the world.
What is included in the baking powder?
From the beginning, ie one hundred and twenty years, the basic ingredient of baking powder, which is sodium bicarbonate, did not change. This chemical compound is rapidly disintegrating at a temperature of sixty degrees Celsius. During this reaction, the gas - carbon monoxide - is released which causes the dough to expand and grow with the addition of this substance. Sodium bicarbonate and products formed as a result of its decomposition have alkaline properties that could give the bakes an unpleasant bitter aftertaste. In order to neutralize it, substances with an acid reaction, i.e. acidity regulators, are added to the mixture. They even accelerate and intensify the release of carbon dioxide, and as a result, the growth of the dough. The most commonly used regulators are: sodium lactate, aluminum-sodium sulphate, sodium pyrophosphate and potassium hydrogenate (tartaric acid salt). In addition, bicarbonate has hygroscopic properties, so it could clump during storage. This is counteracted by the addition of potato flour or corn starch to the mixture, which makes it easier to mix the baking powder with other dough components. The baking powder owes its popularity to functionalities. However, not everyone knows that it is unhealthy or even dangerous for health - the phosphates contained in it disrupt the balance of the body and cause, inter alia, interfering with the absorption of calcium, magnesium and iron. As a result, many different pathologies may appear, such as osteoporosis. The consumption of baking powder is discouraged by specialists for small children and people prone to heartburn, because this mixture can irritate the stomach and aggravate the ailments.
What to replace baking powder?
Baking powder can be successfully replaced by healthy, because the ecological salt of tartaric acid commonly known as a wine stone or potassium stone. It is a natural antioxidant of vegetable origin. The wine stone is a natural leavening agent. It is a by-product of the fermentation of grapes in the production of wine. The wine stone is a white powder that is slightly soluble in water and in alcohol. After mixing with baking soda, 1/3 teaspoon of baking soda and ½ teaspoon of potassium stone substitutes one teaspoon of harmful chemical baking powder.
The baking powder so popular for over a century contains really many substances and chemical compounds that are dangerous to our body. Anyone who cares about their health and their loved ones should change it into a natural, ecological and healthy wine stone as soon as possible.