Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Alkaline Compounds as Food Additive

Alkaline Compounds as Food Additive
Alkaline compounds are compounds that raise the pH. Alkaline compounds, such as sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide, may be used to neutralize excess acid that can develop in natural or cultured fermented foods. Thus, the acid in cream may partially neutralized prior to churning in the manufacture of butter. If this were not done, the excess acid would result on the development of undesirable flavors.

Sodium carbonate and sodium bicarbonate are used to refine rendered fats. Alkaline compounds are also added to chlorinated drinking water to adjust the pH to high enough levels to control the corrosive effects of chlorine on pipes, equipment, and so forth. Sodium carbonate is also used in conjunction with other compounds to reduce the amount of hardness in drinking water.

Sodium hydroxide is used to modify starch and in the production of caramel. Sodium bicarbonate is used as an ingredient of baking powder, which is used for baked products. It is also a common household item used in a variety of cooking recipe. Alkaline compounds are used in the production of chocolate and in the adjusting of acidity levels in grape juice and other fruit juices that are to be fermented in the production of wine.

Some alkaline compounds, such as sodium bicarbonate are relatively mild and safe to use, while others, such as sodium hydroxide and potassium hydroxide, are relatively powerful reagents and should, not be handled by inexperienced people.
Alkaline Compounds as Food Additive
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