Naked Science Forum

Life Sciences => Physiology & Medicine => Topic started by: CliffordK on 13/12/2010 05:36:16

Title: Is Baking Powder Safe?
Post by: CliffordK on 13/12/2010 05:36:16
For a while there has been a known association between Aluminum and Alzheimer's Disease.

In particular, Aluminum has been found in plaques and with tangles in the brains of Alzheimer's patients.  However, there is no clear evidence whether this is a causative association. 

Some people have chosen to minimize the use of aluminum cookware for this reason.

Anyway, if you look at the ingredients of the "typical" baking powder, you find (Clabber Girl, I think Calumet is similar):
There are now alternatives without the Sodium Aluminum Sulfate...  so why aren't the Aluminum powders removed from the market?

Of course, Aluminum is used in many things from Aluminum soda cans to Aluminum foil to Aluminum Oxide grinding wheels.

And truthfully, it will take me a few years to go through a can of baking powder.

I also noticed notes on the internet about a bitter taste of the Aluminum baking powders...  in particular, I've noticed that if one gets a touch too much aluminum based baking powder in biscuits or pancakes, they have a very repulsive taste...  although apparently not noticed by everyone.  Non aluminum baking powders don't have this bitter taste.

Title: Is Baking Powder Safe?
Post by: JP on 13/12/2010 06:33:11
Since there is no conclusive evidence of the link between aluminum and Alzheimer's, I think it's not worth worrying too much about.  There are many other things in our diets that we should watch out for, and baking powder makes up such a tiny portion of the diet of most people, so why spend a lot of time on those things that we don't know to be a problem? 

However, if you notice a taste issue then obviously it's a good idea to switch to a non-AL baking powder.  I switched from iodized to kosher salt for certain recipes because of this, even though iodine is an important nutrient.
Title: Re: Is Baking Powder Safe?
Post by: makerekam on 13/12/2014 23:22:59
Is it safe? Maybe. Maybe not.

The points to consider are this:

1. Aluminum based baking powder provides no particular benefit that cannot be obtain from non-aluminum baking powder.
2. Non-aluminum baking powder is readily available.
3. There is no such thing as an aluminum-deficient diet -- that is, aluminum is not an essential nutrient.

Thus, no particular effort or expense is required to eliminate aluminum-based baking powder. Although you may not derive any benefit from eliminating aluminum-based baking powder, one thing is certain -- you will not be harmed by doing so.