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For making cake, baking powder is taken, if at home your mother uses baking soda instead of baking powder in cake, what is the role of tartaric acid added to baking soda?
(A) Make it more acidic
(B) Make it more basic
(C) Neutralise it
(D) None of these

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Last updated date: 13th Jun 2024
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Answer
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Hint: Both baking soda and Baking powder are the leavening agents i.e. they react with other ingredients when mixed in a batter or dough and produce carbon dioxide gas which escapes from the batter, lifting it along. Thus, we can say that both lead to the rising of cakes and other baked products.

Complete answer:
Generally, for making a cake we use baking powder mostly, but at times we can use baking soda too. But this makes a difference in the making process as well as in the taste of the final cake.
When baking soda is used instead of baking powder, the cake tastes a bit bitter. Baking soda is sodium hydrogen carbonate. On heating, this gets converted into sodium carbonate which is bitter to taste. The reaction takes place as;
$2NaHC{{O}_{3}}\xrightarrow{Heat}N{{a}_{2}}C{{O}_{3}}+{{H}_{2}}O+C{{O}_{2}}$
Though, baking powder can be formed by adding an appropriate amount of tartaric acid into baking soda. The addition of tartaric acid neutralises sodium carbonate (formed during the decomposition of sodium hydrogen carbonate) and cake would not taste bitter further.
Therefore, addition of tartaric acid neutralises the medium. Hence, option (C) is correct.

Note:
Other leavening agents are yeast (used in breads for fermentation) and steam (used in puffs) along with baking soda and baking powder. The combination of both of the leavening agents discussed above i.e. baking powder and baking soda gives the best leavening agents for most of the cake recipes.