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Sulfate. Any salt containing the negative sulfate ion (SO4=); when the ion (q.v.) is combined with the element calcium to form calcium sulfate (q.v.), its presence in dough water is considered desirable as it exerts a stimulating effect on yeast (q.v.) activity. However, in process water it is a major component of the hard scale (q.v.) that forms on the interior surfaces of boilers.