Bakers most frequently reach for sodium acid pyrophosphate (SAPP) or sodium aluminum phosphate (SALP) when choosing a leavening acid. In Europe, however, SALP may not be there for bakers much longer.

Concern about the amount of aluminum in the diet and the mineral’s disputed link to degenerative mental diseases, EU regulators changed aluminum’s “tolerable weekly level” to 1 mg per kg body weight. Previously, it was 7 mg. The 1 mg restriction roughly translates to 200 ppm in foods.

“Aluminum is an emerging issue in many countries,” explained Christian Kroning, business development manager, baking, Budenheim USA, Inc.

The EU regulation, effective Feb. 1, 2014, would allow SALP in only one product: Battenburg-style sponge cakes. Bakers are petitioning for an additional exemption for scones.

No similar action is pending at the Food and Drug Administration, although the American Bakers Association is monitoring the EU discussion, according to Lee Sanders, senior vice-president, government regulations and public affairs.