Chemical Leavening

Chemical Leavening. The process of aerating a batter (q.v.) or dough (q.v.) by a chemical reaction that generates a gas, usually carbon dioxide (q.v.) but, in some cases, also ammonia (q.v.). Sodium bicarbonate (q.v.), also known as baking soda (q.v.), is used as the preferred source of carbon dioxide as it reacts readily with acidic substances when it is combined with them and brought into contact with water. The most common among leavening acids (q.v.) are monocalcium phosphate (MCP) (q.v.), sodium acid pyrophosphate (SAPP) (q.v.), sodium aluminum phosphate (SALP) (q.v.), glucono-delta-lactone (GDL) (q.v.), and cream of tartar (q.v.). Ammonium bicarbonate (q.v.) finds use as a source of carbon dioxide only in cookie and cracker production as it generates also ammonia which is dissipated completely during baking only in products with a very low final moisture content.