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It’s the myth that refuses to die. Even today, some people mistake baking soda with baking powder and the presence of aluminum. Aluminum has never been present in baking soda. Never has, and never will be. When it comes to elementary chemistry, marketing strategies have swayed millions of people to the contrary at the price of common sense. In truth, practically any grocery store baking soda may be as safe, inexpensive, pure, and handy as more costly products that claim to be aluminum-free.

Baking soda has been falsely accused and must be exonerated. The first step in ensuring excellent baking soda is to ensure that the packaging indicates 100% sodium bicarbonate.

The Difference Between Baking Soda and Baking Powder

This is where things may get a bit complicated, since baking soda and baking powder are both white, powdered ingredients used in baking. But there is a distinction:

Baking soda is made entirely of sodium bicarbonate. It is derived from soda ash, which may be manufactured synthetically or gathered naturally. In general, recipes that ask for baking soda also call for some form of acid, which aids in the leavening process and removes the somewhat bitter flavor that baking soda might impart. This website is jam-packed with information if you’re interested in the science underlying the manufacturing process.

Baking powder, on the other hand, includes sodium bicarbonate as well as additional chemicals that work as acidifying agents. This means you won’t need to add any more acid to your recipes to obtain the leavening activity. The acidifying agents might be cream of tartar or an aluminum-based acid (3).

This is when aluminum enters the picture.

Fortunately, not all baking powders include aluminum-based acids; it just depends on the brand. Simply seek for the “aluminum-free” mark on the label to avoid the aluminum variants.

Why The Confusion?

Around a decade ago, individuals began confusing the manufacturing of baking powder for baking soda, and several corporations quickly followed suit. If you’re looking for aluminum-free, check for it on baking powder, not baking soda.

Baking soda and baking powder may both be used as leavening agents, which means they can be added to baked products before cooking to generate carbon dioxide and cause them to ‘rise.’ Baking powder includes baking soda, however the two ingredients are not the same and are utilized in distinct ways.

Baking powder comprises sodium bicarbonate, but it also contains an acidifying agent (cream of tartar) and a drying agent (usually starch).

Baking powder is typically made with 30% sodium bicarbonate, 5-12% monocalcium phosphate, and 21-26% sodium aluminum sulfate.

Baking powders with and without aluminum components are available. Some people avoid using baking powder containing aluminum because it imparts a metallic flavor to the meal, and there are health issues linked with any increase in aluminum in our diets.
When put to the test, most baking powders behave similarly. This might be due to FDA restrictions requiring all baking powders to emit at least 12% CO2, along with the limits given by acid-base chemistry, resulting in relatively minor variances in the quantity of gas emitted by each brand. In other words, apart from the metal issues, we could fairly anticipate double-acting baking powders from prominent manufacturers to be interchangeable in recipes.

Is there aluminum in baking powder?

Many, but not all, baking powder brands include aluminum. Sodium aluminum phosphate or sodium aluminum sulfate are the two names for it.

It’s a vital element in the production of baking powders, and it’s always stated as one among the ingredients on the label.

Of course, certain brands are devoid of aluminum.

I’ll explain how to discover them in a moment. For the time being, it’s critical to grasp what baking powder is and what it accomplishes. Baking powder is made of of baking soda and an acid.

Baking powder a time-tested, effective replacement for yeast.

It is a chemical leavening ingredient that causes baked goods to rise and fill with air. In other words, it expands the baked product’s volume while simultaneously lightening its texture. It is a combination of carbonate or bicarbonate with a weak acid.

Cornstarch is used as a buffer to prevent the acid from interacting with the base too soon.

Some companies employ aluminum because it is heat-activated. That is, when you place a cooked item in the oven, the baking powder with aluminum begins to work instantly.

Baking powders without aluminum are liquid activated instead of heat-activated.

As a result, they tend to operate quicker since they start working before you put the object in the oven. When utilizing aluminum-free baking powder, you must prepare your product promptly. The longer you wait before baking, the more bubbles will be released.

The gas that produces air bubbles causes the batter or dough to rise.

Whether you’re going food shopping tomorrow, how will you know if the brand you’re purchasing is aluminum-free?

That’s what we’ll look at next, but first, you’ll undoubtedly agree that certain grocery shops may be a little intimidating.

That’s why, in a recent essay, I investigated the various divisions of a grocery shop. To make it easier for you to traverse them, just click the link to read it on my website.

How do you know if your baking powder is aluminum-free?

Baking powder brands that do not include aluminum will indicate this on the packaging. It is often both absent from the ingredient list and explicitly indicated on the front of the label.

Simply verify the label before purchasing.

The label specifies the components. If aluminum is included in the baking powder, it will be present as an acidic salt and will be labeled as sodium aluminum sulfate or sodium aluminum phosphate.

And if there are none, it will not be listed. Alternatively, it will state “aluminum-free.”

Why is it vital to even bother with checking whether your baking powder is aluminum-free?


To begin, baking items using aluminum will have a metallic flavor. It may also give them a reddish tinge in rare situations.


Aluminum, according to some scientists, should be banned from our meals.

It is said to be dangerous. A article titled Some Objections To The Use of Alum Baking Powder by William J. Gies, Ph.D. investigates the subject and expressly finds that “aluminum should be removed from food.”

According to a new research published in ScienceDirect, aluminum is “a putative risk factor in Alzheimer’s disease” and “aluminum directly effects the course of” (Alzheimer’s disease).

However, other scientists believe that consuming aluminum in little amounts has no negative consequences on our health.

What are the best-known brands of aluminum-free baking powder?

The best-known brands of aluminum-free baking powder include McKenzie’s, Rumford, Whole Foods 365, and Trader Joe’s.

Rumford is a well-known and renowned brand of double-acting baking powder.

It was founded in 1859 by a Harvard University professor who chose the name Count Rumford to commemorate the person who funded the professorial chair he had at the time. The brand is well-liked, with 4.5 ratings out of 5 on Amazon. It has two functions, is gluten-free, non-GMO, and vegan.

Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods Market’s 365 brands also sell aluminum-free, double-acting baking powder. They are also well praised and reasonably priced.

McKenzie is aluminum-free, gluten-free, and has been manufactured for five generations by an Australian firm (it is now unavailable on Amazon, and they cannot predict when it will be available).


In the previous paragraphs, we looked at baking powder and how aluminum enters into the equation.

We looked at some brands that have it and others that didn’t. But if you don’t have any on hand, I gave a simple formula for making your own.

I also included a few medical publications that discuss some of aluminum’s bad impacts. That way, you can determine what is best for you and your family.