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Social Sciences
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Research Paper
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English (U.S.)
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Topic:

Baking Soda vs. Baking Powder (Research Paper Sample)

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You have to show how it works by using chemistry Overview: The purpose of this project is for students to discover how chemistry is used every day, to practice writing and communication skills, and to learn how to find information in the library/on the internet. Each topic covered in the course contains concepts that have relevance in our daily lives. Your job is to study a topic that interests you, write about it, and share what you learn with others. You will also be responsible for providing support and feedback to others, who will in turn provide support and feedback to you in writing the best article you can. Requirements: 1) You will choose a topic that interests you and create an outline. Your instructor will approve it or suggest something that is more doable. 2) You will write an article that is between 750-1000 words in length and contains at least three internet references, a newspaper or magazine article (e.g., The New York Times, Scientific American, Popular Science, The New Scientist, etc…), and a book (can be your textbook). You will do an assignment on how to find information through the library and how to find appropriate internet references.

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Baking Soda vs. Baking Powder
Baking soda, also known as bicarbonate of soda or bread soda, is a white crystalline solid that appears as a fine powder. It is chemically sodium bicarbonate, also known as sodium hydrogen carbonate, NaHCO3. Baking soda or sodium bicarbonate is characterized by salty alkaline taste and reacts with acids such as hydrochloric acid (HCl) to produce a salt and carbonic acid (acs.org). The carbonic acid produced readily decomposes to water and carbon dioxide in a sequence of reactions (1) and (2) shown below.
NaHCO3 + HCl → NaCl + H2CO3
H2CO3 → H2O + CO2(g)
The reaction resulting in the production of carbon dioxide is used to leaven batter or dough for foods like pancakes, biscuits and quick bread. The carbon dioxide is released as bubbles in the wet batter or dough thus expanding it (Salkeld). There must be an acidic ingredient when baking soda is used in a recipe for carbon dioxide to be produced. Some common acids used to complement baking soda in a recipe include: vinegar, sour cream, buttermilk, cream of tartar and citrus juice (nzic.org). The reaction between sodium bicarbonate and acetic acid (found in vinegar) yields sodium acetate, carbon dioxide and water as shown in equation (3) below.
NaHCO3 + CH3COOH → CH3COONa + H2O + CO2(g)
These acidic complements are added in enough quantities to balance the alkaline baking soda. This balancing is easily achieved with standardized products like vinegar and cream of tartar but it becomes difficult with food acids from natural products as they vary with seasons, how the raw preparation is processed, storage, and even how the animals feed. Since the acid-base reaction occurs very quickly to be complete in two minutes, the batter should not be left for long before cooking as the carbon dioxide will have escaped (Salkeld). Baking soda may therefore not be the reliable leavening agent due to these factors stated above.
Baking powder, on the other hand, is a powdery leavening agent that is composed of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate), acidic salts, as well as component to stabilize the mixture and keep it consistent (Green). Baking powder, therefore, comes packed with an acid and the matching alkali (baking soda) needed for the acid-base reaction to produce carbon dioxide. This can be demonstrated by adding of the baking powder to water or milk whereby the alkali and the acid react to produce carbon dioxide bubbles (Lallemand Inc. 1). The carbon dioxide bubbles released in a wet mixture of batter or dough cause it to increase thus leavening it.
Monocalcium phosphate (MCP) and sodium aluminum sulfate (SAS)...
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