Sodium Bicarbonate: a multipurpose ingredient for food and beverage markets

Products & Technologies

SEQENS Mineral Specialties produces high-quality Sodium Bicarbonate grades to serve the growing worldwide demand in pharmaceutical, food and feed markets.

a wide Sodium Bicarbonate product range

High standards of production and well controlled raw materials enable SEQENS Mineral Specialties Sodium Bicarbonate to reach a high purity level with no aluminium and no heavy metals.

SEQENS Mineral Specialties runs two plants for the manufacturing of Sodium Bicarbonate: one in France (La Madeleine plant) to serve mainly European markets and one in Singapore (Novabay by SEQENS) to serve the growing Asian demand.

Our plant in France has ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 50001, EXCiPACT and OHSAS 18001 certifications. All Sodium Bicarbonate production units are operated under the principles of HACCP methodology.

Our factory in Singapore is ISO 9001 and FSSC 22000 certified. Our products are also Halal and Kosher certified.

SEQENS Mineral Specialties offers a wide Sodium Bicarbonate product range depending on the application (Table 1). Upon request, few grades (BC EF, BC P and BC GF) can be enhanced with additives, to improve their flowing properties or to make them hydrophobic so as to delay their dissolution in water solution (only sold in Europe).

Table 1. Sodium Bicarbonate product range overview

Sodium Bicarbonate is registered as E500ii in CODEX Alimentarius, with the following properties: acidity regulator, alkali, and rising agent.

SEQENS Mineral Specialties Sodium Bicarbonate is a useful ingredient for food and beverage markets with several key functions.

Sodium Bicarbonate for bakery market

Thanks to its leavening properties, Sodium Bicarbonate can be used for bakery market to formulate cakes, crackers or waffles for example.

The leavening power is linked to CO2 release, that occurs through two different chemical reactions (Equations 1 and 2):

Equation 1 between Sodium Bicarbonate and an acid agent (for instance: Sodium Acid PyroPhosphate – SAPP) takes place when the two ingredients start to dissolve in the dough. As the dissolution time of Sodium Bicarbonate is directly linked to its particle size distribution, the finest grades have a faster dissolution time than coarser grades. So, CO2 production with the finest grades (BC EF, BC P, BC GF and Fine grade) is faster and more powerful than with coarser grades (BC N, BC UCG and Coarse grade).

When the bakery recipe does not contain any acid agent, CO2 is produced only through Equation 2. The thermal decomposition appears during cooking when temperature is higher than 60°C.

A study is carried out to compare the leavening action of BC EF and BC N from Novacarb, and Fine grade and Coarse grade from Novabay (recipe of breads containing Sodium Bicarbonate and an acid agent, Figures 1, 2, 3 and 4). It is noticed that the use of coarser grades (BC N and Coarse grade) leads to less homogeneous breads and may induce brown spots on the surface of the bread linked to the non-completely dissolved biggest particles.

To avoid this kind of issue, it is recommended to use fine particle size Sodium Bicarbonate such as BC EF, BC P, BC GF or Fine grade for bakery.

Sodium Bicarbonate for beverage market

The chemical reaction that induces foam for powder drinks (cappuccino or powder energy drink for instance) is exactly the same as the one for leavening (Equation 1). Sodium Bicarbonate and an acid agent react together to release CO2. The reaction occurs when the powder is mixed with water.

The level of the effervescent power depends on the rate of the equation 1. The finest grades have a fast dissolution time into water and gives a powerful foam with a fast sparkling effect. On the contrary, the coarsest grades have a long dissolution time and gives a weak foam but a long sparkling effect.

A study is carried out to find out the best acid agent and the best proportion between Sodium Bicarbonate and the acid agent to have a wonderful foam for a coffee powder recipe. Several cases are tested (with water at 90°C):

  • Powder coffee – standard commercial product (Figure 5)
  • Coffee with 5% (w:w) of potassium bicarbonate and tartaric acid (Figure 6)
  • Coffee with 5% (w:w) of BC P (Figure 7)
  • Coffee with 5% (w:w) of Fine and Coarse grades (or BC P and BC N) with citric acid, at stoichiometric ratio (Figure 8)

The best case is a blend with citric acid and Sodium Bicarbonate (Fine and Coarse), at a stoichiometric ratio (figure 8). It leads to a higher content of foam with a longer lasting time.

Sodium Bicarbonate as pH buffer

Sodium Bicarbonate is also a pH buffer and can be used to improve the conservation time length of end-products. A study is carried out to compare several pH regulators: calcium citrate, potassium citrate, sodium citrate, Sodium Bicarbonate: BC N and Fine grade. The buffering capacity is calculated for each component (Graph 1). It is directly linked to the added quantity of acid (lactic acid in this study) that is necessary to decrease the pH of the solution from initial pH to pH 6 – PT-6, or pH 5 – PT-5. The higher the PT value, the higher the buffering capacity of the ingredient.

It means that the ingredient which has the highest buffering capacity is the most suitable to regulate the pH of the end-product. It is noticed that BC N and Fine grade have the best buffering capacity in comparison to calcium citrate, potassium citrate and sodium citrate.

Graph 1. Buffering capacity for pH 6 and pH 5

Thanks to the simple but efficient chemical and physical properties of SEQENS Mineral Specialties Sodium Bicarbonate, manufacturers can well explore opportunities to innovate in their formulations.


Dr. Sophie Mouzon, Development, Quality & Customer Assistance Manager, Seqens Mineral Specialties | Email:

Jeanne PEREZ, Products and Applications Development, Seqens Mineral Specialties | Email: