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Thread: What's the difference between sodium metabisulphite and sodium bicarbonate?

  1. #1 What's the difference between sodium metabisulphite and sodium bicarbonate? 
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    I just saw that both sodium metabisulphite and sodium bicarbonate can be used as leavening agent.
    So what's the difference between them?


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  3. #2  
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    Quote Originally Posted by happymandy View Post
    I just saw that both sodium metabisulphite and sodium bicarbonate can be used as leavening agent.
    So what's the difference between them?
    Where did you see sodium metabisulphite can be used as a leavening agent? This sounds unlikely to me.


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    Sodium metabisulphite in food products?

    It's there as a preservative not as a leavening agent. Known on food labels as E223.
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    Quote Originally Posted by happymandy View Post
    I just saw that both sodium metabisulphite and sodium bicarbonate can be used as leavening agent.
    So what's the difference between them?
    Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) works by releasing CO2 gas in the presence of mild acids that form in some cooking mixtures , forming bubbles in it, or else it is mixed with tartaric acid to create baking powder in which the mild acid is thus ready-present. Sodium metabisulphite won't do that. In the presence of strong acid it might decompose and evolve SO2, but the acidity required would probably be too strong for anything somebody might eat and the smell and taste of SO2 is horrible and it is a powerful irritant to the eyes, nose and throat. Not what you want in cake mixture.
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