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Food ammonia: the use of ammonia in the food sector and, in particular, theammonium bicarbonatefor the preparation of leavened products.
When we talk aboutfood ammoniawe refer toammonium bicarbonate, contained in foods and marked on the label with the initials 503. Unfortunately, the food industry uses ammonia not only in the form of its salt.
Ammonia in food
Ammonia (generally in the form of ammonium salts) is found in food as a leavening agent or as an acidity regulator, but ammonia is more widely used in the food sector.
Gaseous ammonia is used in some industrial machines to ensure the cleaning of all metal components and the hygiene of the foods that pass through the supply chain. Since ammonia is used for cleaning conveyor belts and all other machinery that come into contact with food, traces of ammonia are found in the final product. The level of ammonia in many foods it is between 10 or 100 ppm, these are negligible traces.
L'Ammonia dissolved in water (ammonium hydroxide) it is used in some food processing plants (ice makers, milk, beer bottling….) for cleaning rooms, machines and other tools. Also in this case, traces - always negligible - of ammonia can be detected in the final product.
Some game meats, as well as cured meats and fatty cheeses, can have ammonia levels around 1000 ppm.
In Germany, thefood ammonia it is used in foods in the form of ammonium carbonate while in the Nordic countries (Baltic areas and the Netherlands) ammonium chloride is widely used, especially for the production of salmiakki (a particular type of licorice).
Sometimes ammonia ends up in food even when it shouldn't. This is the case of the food scandal that exploded in the United States. High levels of ammonia were found in hamburgers, sausages, frankfurters and ground beef. After an investigation conducted by ABC News in March 2012, it was found that 70 percent of the ground beef sold in the States contains Pink slime without the shoppers' knowledge.
Pink Slime is a "red mush", ie substances obtained from the slaughter of tendons, cartilages and other animal waste. Since these are real waste, they could come into contact with the dejection of animals during slaughter.
To "remedy" the hygiene problem, the US food industry has well thought of cleaning pink slime by washing it with ammonia. In conclusion, not only did the Americans ingest, unbeknownst to them, an unusual mush, but it had also been washed with ammonia and contained large quantities.
Bicarbonate of ammonium or ammonia for sweets
Let's clarify one thing immediately: ammonium bicarbonate and ammonia are two different substances. When it comes toammonia in sweetsit refers to ammonium bicarbonate used as baking powder.
Ammonium bicarbonate is considered safe for human health. The food industry uses theammonium bicarbonate as a leavening agent or as an acidity regulator. In other sectors, ammonium bicarbonate is used in fire extinguishers and as a swelling agent in porous plastic materials.
The ammonia yeast (ammonium bicarbonate) mixed with pasta for food (to be cooked in the oven), reacts during the processing of the dough and develops carbon dioxide bubbles; it is in this way that the ammonium bicarbonate is able to rise the mass (the dough) making the product light and soft.
Where to buyfood ammonia or ammonium yeast?
In stores specializing in the sale of pastry products or by taking advantage of online sales. On Amazon there are several proposals available, among the useful links at the end of the paragraph you will find one.
Who seeksalternatives to ammonia for sweetscan try cream of tartar. On Amazon, a pack of 14 sachets of baking powder based on cream of tartar is offered at a price of 1.52 euros.
If ammonium bicarbonate is the salt of ammonia, cream of tartar is the salt of potassium (potassium bitartrate).
Ammonia also serves to eliminate color spots, read as in this article