Difference between Baking Soda and Baking Powder

It is important to understand the difference between baking soda and baking powder since they both serve as leavening agents but are quite different chemically. A brief description of baking powder and baking soda is provided below along with a tabular column highlighting the differences between them.

Difference between Baking Soda and Baking Powder

The major differences between the properties of Baking Soda and Baking Powder are tabulated below:

Baking Soda Baking Powder
Has only one ingredient – Sodium Bicarbonate Consists of many ingredients including Bicarbonates (typically baking soda), and acid salts.
Does not contain Monocalcium Phosphate Contain Monocalcium Phosphate, which reacts with NaHCO3 when wetted and heated.
Reacts immediately with acids Does not immediately react when exposed to acids.
Short leavening process Leavening process extended with the help of a second acid.
Baking products formed when baking soda is used are not as fluffy when compared to baking powder products, due to shorter reaction duration. Gives fluffier products from baking

What is Baking Soda?

Baking soda is nothing but sodium bicarbonate, which can be given by the chemical formula NaHCO3. Baking soda is basically a salt which comprises of a sodium cation which can be represented as Na+ and a bicarbonate anion which can be represented as HCO3.

Baking soda is a white, crystalline solid that has a salty taste. It is quite useful in baking as a leavening agent – a substance that causes foaming, leading to the softening of the mixture. It is also referred to as sodium hydrogen carbonate.

What is Baking Powder?

Baking powders are made up of bases, acids, and some buffering materials which help in the prevention of early acid-base reactions.

Generally, the baking powders that are sold commercially consist of baking soda or sodium bicarbonate along with one or many salts that can produce acidic reactions when dissolved in solvents.

Thus, the difference between baking soda and baking powder is highlighted in the tabular column provided above. To learn more about the preparation, properties, and uses of baking soda, download BYJU’S – The Learning App.

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