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If tartaric acid is not added in baking powder, the cake will taste bitter due to the presence of:
A) Sodium hydrogen carbonate
B) Carbon dioxide
C) Sodium carbonate
D) All of these

Last updated date: 20th Jun 2024
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Hint: Baking powder is a mixture of baking soda and a weak edible acid. Tartaric acid, a weak acid is added in it to do the neutralization reaction of baking soda. Baking soda on heating gives a base which produces bitter taste to the cake.

Complete Solution :
We know that baking powder is a mixture of baking soda i.e., sodium bicarbonate, $NaHC{O_3}$ and an edible acid i.e., tartaric acid. The reaction between baking soda and tartaric acid is:
$NaHC{O_3} + {H^ + } \to N{a^ + } + C{O_2} + {H_2}O$

- Sodium bicarbonate, a salt, reacts with the ${H^ + }$ ion that comes from tartaric acid to form $N{a^ + }$ from sodium tartrate salt, carbon dioxide and water. On heating during baking, sodium bicarbonate gives sodium carbonate, which is a base. When an acid reacts with a base, we get salt and water and such reaction is termed as neutralization reaction. Similarly, here tartaric acid i.e., an acid reacts with sodium carbonate i.e., a base to form a salt, resulting in neutralization reaction and removing the bitterness of the base that is, sodium carbonate. You must know that bases are always bitter in taste.
- Thus during baking, sodium carbonate induces a bitter taste to the cake due to its alkaline nature in the aqueous solution. So, to neutralize bitter taste because of $N{a_2}C{O_3}$, tartaric acid is added in the baking powder. If tartaric acid is not added in baking powder, the sodium carbonate remains in the cake resulting in a bitter taste.
So, the correct answer is “Option C”.

Note: While baking the cake, sodium bicarbonate reacts with the tartaric acid and evolves carbon dioxide, $C{O_2}$. The evolved $C{O_2}$ slowly forms bubbles and makes the cake soft and fluffy. Thus, you will always see that baking powder is added while making any bakery product and it always has tartaric acid as its constituent to remove the bitterness of the baking soda.