Acidulants: Leavening acids

9 March 2022
Acidulants: Leavening acids | Bakery Academy
Acidulants activate CO2 development of the baking salts and are used to adjust the pH of the final products. It is possible to get a faster or slower formation of CO2 in the oven using different acidulants.

In this respect the pH of raw materials like corn, invert syrup, liquid caramel colour and fruits can have a relatively low pH value and then there will be a reaction that could result in some premature CO2 development when they come in contact with the leavening agents. Understanding therefore ingredients’ acidity is important for controlling leavening action:  a reaction will take place when raw materials with a low pH come into contact with the leavening agents. When this reaction is kept at a minimum and the dough always prepared under the same conditions there will  be no differences in the final product.

The various acidulants differ in their rate of reaction in response to the elevation of the temperature and are also influenced by its solubility in water. Acidulants which are soluble in cold water are considered fast and start to develop CO2 at rather low temperatures, already during the mixing of the dough, waiting and time for processing. The acids that dissolve slow will equally form CO2 but at higher temperatures in and more in the oven. The renowned firm Budenheim has evaluated many leavening agents and this has resulted in some conclusions to take onboard:


  • during the mixing stage already some CO2 development will happen
  • during dough rest/ bench rest/ idle time also some development of CO2 will take place
  • during baking the remaining CO2 can be released



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