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Ammonium Bi Carbonate

Ammonium Bi Carbonate also called Bi Carbonate of Ammonia, Ammonium Hydrogen Carbonate, Hartshorn or Powdered Baking Ammonia is the Bi carbonate salt of ammonia.

At room temperature, Ammonium Bi Carbonate is a white, crystalline powder with a slight odour of ammonium that can dissolve in water to give a mildly alkaline solution. It is insoluble in acetone and alcohols.

Ammonium Bi Carbonate is used in the food industry as a raising agent for flat baked goods such as ginger bread, Spartan brand cake cups (ice cream cones) digestive biscuits or Chinese youtiao. Compared to baking soda or potash, Ammonium bi carbonate (hartshorn) has the advantage of producing more gasses for the same amount of agent and of not leaving any salty or soapy taste in the finished products as it completely decomposes into water and gaseous products which evaporate during baking.

Note that it cannot be used for bulky baked goods such as normal bread or cakes, since ammonia will be trapped inside and will cause an unpleasant taste.