In this week’s post, we will shift from the topic of sweeteners and explicate the role of food chemicals as leavening agents. The scope of discussion for this entry will be on sodium bicarbonate.
Leavening agents are also known as raising agents. They generally refer to substances used in doughs and batters that cause a foaming action that lightens and softens it, by incorporating bubbles of gas into it. Fundamentally, leavening agents are widely used in the baking industry to produce pastry products.
Muffins Baked With Raising Agents
One key example of a leavening agent is sodium bicarbonate. It is more commonly known in the baking world as baking soda or the bicarbonate of soda. Sodium bicarbonate reacts with little amount of acid such as vinegar or buttermilk that will soften and lighten dough in bakery due to bubble formation.
The bicarbonate of soda is industrially manufactured from soda ash by the Solvay Process. Soda ash is first manufactured via the Solvay process using reactants such as sodium chloride and ammonia. Carbon dioxide is obtained from calcium carbonate and the resulting calcium oxide will be used to regenerate ammonia. By adding purified carbon dioxide to soda ash, the mixture yields sodium bicarbonate.
However, it is noted that it is no longer economically viable to produce the bicarbonate of soda via the Solvay Process in the United States. Most of the soda ash in the United States is acquired by mining the mineral Trona, Na2CO3•NaHCO3•H2O in Wyoming. Trona is a sodium carbonate compound that is processed into soda ash or baking soda. Wyoming has the world’s largest deposit of trona, supplying about 90% of the nation’s soda ash. This mineral is Wyoming’s top export product and is shipped globally. Wyoming mines produced over 17 million tons of trona and employed 2,483 people in 2015.
The Trona Mineral
In 2014, the volume of the sodium bicarbonate production globally grew by 4%. At present, the sodium bicarbonate market is growing at a stable pace, owing to its wide usage in the healthcare and food sectors, accounts for over 50% of total product consumption. China captured close to 35% of the total sodium bicarbonate output in 2014, and the U.S. came in second with a share of just over 20%. As of 2014, Asia, led by China, dominated sodium bicarbonate consumption with around 37.5% share of total demand. Europe and North America came second and third with shares of around 26.1% and 21.2%, respectively.
Forecasts suggest that the sodium bicarbonate market will grow at 4-4.5% per annum by 2019, driven primarily by Asia and especially China. The region is poised to dominate both the production and consumption of sodium bicarbonate in the upcoming years. The European market for sodium bicarbonate is expected to demonstrate annual growth at just over 2% over the forecast period.
The sodium bicarbonate market can thus be projected to experience continuous growth worldwide. The increasing demand for sodium bicarbonate globally can generate lucrative revenue for companies engaged in sodium bicarbonate trading.
Meanwhile, stay tuned for our next update! For more information, log on to http://food-chemicals.com/ for a diverse range of chemicals present in our database.