In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “can you get sick from eating expired baking powder” with an in-depth analysis of the health implications of eating expired baking powder. Moreover, we are going to discuss tips to properly store baking powder.
So without much ado, let’s dive in and figure out more about it.
Can you get sick from eating expired baking powder?
When it comes to baking powder, you do not get sick from using an expired baking powder. The difference that you will notice by using the expired baking powder is that it would have a very weakened leavening effect or the baking good you are using it into, won’t rise.
Baking powder is a chemical leavening agent and the usage of old or expired baking powder does not pose any health implications. The only thing that will happen is that it no longer will be able to produce its leavening action and you will get flat and dense baked goods. But who wants that to happen, no one, right?
So it is better to just discard the expired baking powder owing to the fact that it won’t have the same leavening potential as the fresh baking powder, but if you are okay with weakly leavened bread or cookies, you can use the old baking powder.
It is worth mentioning that it is the “best by” or “ best before” date that is written on the packet of baking powder instead of the expiration date.
The “best by” or “best before” date that is written on the package of baking powder refers to the quality rather than safety so the baking powder doesn’t necessarily go bad immediately after the best before date.
This date refers to the time during which you can enjoy the peak quality of baking powder but you can still use baking powder that is past this date as long as it was stored properly.
Checking the effectiveness of baking powder
It is worth mentioning that it is better to check the effectiveness of the baking powder before actually using it in your baked goods. For checking the effectiveness of the baking powder, what you gotta do is to take some warm water in a cup or bowl.
Add ½ tsp of baking powder into the warm water. If you notice immediate fizz or bubble formation in the water after the addition of baking powder then it means that the baking powder is good to use. On the other hand, if you notice very weakened fizz (bubble formation) or no fizz at all then it means that the baking powder has lost its effectiveness and it is better to buy for yourself a new packet of baking powder.
You can read the difference between baking powder and baking soda here.
Mode of action of baking powder
Baking powder is specifically used for baking purposes and is a complete leavening agent. Not only is baking soda present in its formulation but extra ingredients are also added in its formulation like starch and cream of tartar.
Thus, it has both the acidic (cream of tartar) and basic (baking soda) components present in its formulation and does not require the addition of any extra acidic substance for activation.
So what happens is that as soon as the baking powder comes in contact with a liquid the acidic and the basic component of the baking powder reacts with each other and liberates out carbon dioxide that gives a fluffy and light texture to the cookies or muffins in which baking powder was used.
Last but not least the corn starch present in the formulation of the baking powder is neutral and its work is to hinder the acidic and the basic components present in the baking powder to react with each other.
So if no acidic item is used in the recipe, it is better to use baking powder in this scenario as it already contains both the acidic and basic components and does not require any additional acidic item for its activation.
Generally, unopened baking powder lasts for about 24 months while once opened baking powder remains effective for about 3 to 6 months.
Tips to properly store baking powder
- Moisture is an enemy of the freshness and quality of the baking powder therefore baking powder should be kept in air-tight containers or air-tight jars to reduce its exposure to air.
- Do not store your baking powder in a humid environment.
- You should store baking powder away from direct sunlight.
- Baking powder should be kept in a cool, dry, and dark place. A cool and dry corner of your pantry can serve this purpose nicely.
- Do not unnecessarily open the lid of the baking powder jar or container and seal it again as soon as possible after scooping out the baking powder that you need.
- Once you have opened the package of baking powder, it is recommended to transfer the rest of the baking powder to an air-tight container.
- You should never use a wet spoon to scoop out the baking powder from the container.
- Always use a dry clean spoon to scoop out baking powder from its container.
- Close the lid of the baking powder container as soon as you are done scooping out the amount of baking powder that you need.
In this brief guide, we answered the question “can you get sick from eating expired baking powder” with an in-depth analysis of the health implications of eating expired baking powder. Moreover, we discussed tips to properly store baking powder.