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Difference between Bicarbonate and Baking Soda

Baking soda, also referred to as sodium bicarbonate, is a kitchen staple that is widely used in baking. Bicarbonate is a naturally occurring mineral that has many health benefits. How do these two ingredients differ and what are their benefits? Read on to find out!

What is Bicarbonate?

Bicarbonate is a compound that consists of carbon and hydrogen. It is found in many different minerals, including limestone and shale. Bicarbonate is also a key component of soda ash, which is used in the production of glass and soap. When dissolved in water, bicarbonate forms a weak acid that can be used to neutralize stomach acidity. Bicarbonate is also used in baking powder and as a fire extinguisher. Bicarbonate can be found in nature, but it can also be produced synthetically.

What is Baking Soda?

Baking soda is a white crystalline powder that is commonly used as a baking ingredient and a household cleaner. Its scientific name is sodium bicarbonate, and it is part of the salt family. Baking soda is alkaline, which means it has a high pH. When it comes into contact with an acidic substance, it will neutralize the acid and release carbon dioxide gas. This makes baking soda an effective leavening agent for baking recipes that call for an acid-base reaction, such as cakes and quick breads. Baking soda can also be used to absorb odors, clean surfaces, and extinguish fires. It is safe for most household uses, but it should be used with care because it can be harmful if ingested in large quantities.

Difference between Bicarbonate and Baking Soda

Bicarbonate and Baking Soda, while often used interchangeably, are actually two different things. Bicarbonate is a base, while baking soda is an acidic salt. Baking soda is made up of bicarbonate and another compound, usually cream of tartar. Baking soda can be used as a leavening agent or raising agent in baking. When used this way, it reacts with other ingredients to release carbon dioxide gas and cause the batter to rise. Baking soda can also be used as a cleaning agent. When mixed with water, it forms a paste that can be used to clean surfaces. Bicarbonate can also be used as a cleaning agent. When mixed with water, it forms a solution that can be used to remove stains. Bicarbonate can also be used as an antacid. It works by neutralizing stomach acid and relieving heartburn and indigestion.


The next time you are in the grocery store, take a closer look at the baking aisle. You will see two similar products with different names- bicarbonate and baking soda. What’s the difference? And which one should you be using in your kitchen? Baking soda is sodium bicarbonate, while bicarbonate is potassium bicarbonate. They both have the same chemical makeup, but there is a key difference- the pH level. Baking soda has a pH of 9, making it alkaline, while bicarbonate has a pH of 7, making it neutral. This small difference can make a big impact when it comes to cooking and baking.

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