Several months ago I started noticing that every muffin or biscuit I made had an odd taste to it. At first I thought it was the flour I was using. I had bought some small bags on sale, so I figured they had just gone off. But when I used the infamous King Arthur Flour and still noticed it, I knew that it couldn’t be the flour. Everything tasted almost as if I had mistakenly used baking soda instead of baking powder, a mistake that most bakers do not make more than once! I knew I hadn’t made that mistake again, and it also had a bit of metallic aftertaste (also unpleasant). I decided to check the ingredients in my baking powder.
We had recently moved to the U.S. and didn’t bring any of our pantry supplies with us, so we bought everything new. I didn’t see a familiar brand of baking powder, so I had just bought the store brand. When I decided to look at the ingredients I was surprised to see a form of aluminum (sodium aluminum sulfate). I’m well aware of the concerns with consuming aluminum, so I immediately looked this up on the internet. I discovered that the brand I used in Canada, Magic Baking Powder, does not contain aluminum, but several brands available in the States do. Although most information I found seems to indicate that there is not enough aluminum to be harmful, I would rather be on the safe side. I immediately threw out the store brand baking powder and went to buy an aluminum-free brand, for both health and taste reasons.
I’m usually pretty conscientious about looking at ingredient lists when shopping, but it never occurred to me that even simple, everyday baking powder could be a risk. It really put into perspective that you just can’t take anything for granted.
If you’re interested, here is the website I found with some Information on Baking Powder.