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Baking Soda. Sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3), the most widely used source of carbon dioxide gas (q.v.) in chemical leavening systems; it releases carbon dioxide (q.v.) by interacting in the presence of moisture with acidic materials that have either been formulated with it, as in a baking powder (q.v.), or are naturally present in, or are added to, the batter (q.v.) or dough (q.v.).