What are the active components in selfraising flour

Self-raising flours contain sodium bicarbonate and a suitable food grade acid. When used in baking the bicarbonate and acid react to generate carbon dioxide gas. Self-raising flours are most commonly sold through the retail trade and find greatest use in the domestic market. They may be used in smaller bakeries as an alternative to separate additions of plain flour and baking powder.

The level of added baking powder is usually governed by a form of regulation that specifies the volume of carbon dioxide gas that is evolved at the point of final use. Since there may be a small degree of reaction between the active components and loss of carbon dioxide gas during the relatively long storage periods for such flours, the rates of addition to the fresh flour will be somewhat higher than required by legislation. For example, the UK Bread and Flour Regulations (1996) specifies that self-raising flour should yield not less than 0.4% of available carbon dioxide but commonly rates of addition will deliver around 0.8% when freshly prepared. The latter level equates to 1.56% of the flour weight being sodium bicarbonate.

A number of different food acids may be used in the production of self-raising flour. They include:

• acid calcium phosphate (ACP), monocalcium phosphate (MCP);

• sodium acid pyrophosphate (SAPP);

• sodium aluminium phosphate (SALP);

• cream of tartar, potassium hydrogen tartrate;

• glucono-delta lactone.

Each acid component will be added according to its neutralising power with sodium bicarbonate (Thacker, 1997). The rate at which carbon dioxide gas is released depends on the type of acid being used. Sometimes a mixture of two acids may be used to provide a so-called ' double-acting' baking powder which provides for both early and late carbon dioxide release.

Continue reading here: What are the critical properties of fats for making bread cakes and pastries

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