What's the difference between baking soda and baking powder?

As an older homemaker, I was recently asked, what was the difference between baking powder and baking soda. I could only answer that one of the two makes a mixture rise and I'm not sure that was right.
Darlene 5/1/2000

Vocabulary
sodium bicarbonate
tartaric acid
Baking soda is sodium bicarbonate. It will not make cake rise. Baking powder is a mixture of tartaric acid and baking soda. When water is added, the acid and bicarbonate combine to make a salt and carbonic acid. The carbonic acid decomposes to water and carbon dioxide gas. The gas causes cakes to rise. PW

Author: Peter Wepplo pwepplo@monmouth.edu



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