Discussion:
Extra salty taste of sodium bicarbonate - why?
(too old to reply)
Cori
2005-04-16 19:45:35 UTC
Permalink
I took half a teaspoon of sodium bicarbonate in half a glass of
tap water for indigestion. I was surprised at just how salty it
tasted.

Unfortunately, my knowledge of chemistry is not good. Can I ask a
few questions about this? Thank you for any information.

I can state that my tap water is slightly alkaline.

------

QUESTION ONE. Does sodium bicarbonate decompose in some way
during storage for a few years that would make my solution taste
more salty than usual?

Google says that sodium bicarbonate breaks down at 60C but my
kitchen cupboard never got that hot! Maybe there is a slow
reaction between sodium bicarbonate and the gases in the
atmosphere?

------

I saw there were some *particles* at the bottom of the glass which
did not dissolve. I Googled and saw that sodium bicarbonate is
said to be completely soluble in water.

QUESTION ONE. What compound would these particles be made of? I
added three times the orginal amount of water and stirred but
still the particles did not dissolve.
Peter Aitken
2005-04-16 21:43:06 UTC
Permalink
Post by Cori
I took half a teaspoon of sodium bicarbonate in half a glass of
tap water for indigestion. I was surprised at just how salty it
tasted.
Unfortunately, my knowledge of chemistry is not good. Can I ask a
few questions about this? Thank you for any information.
I can state that my tap water is slightly alkaline.
------
QUESTION ONE. Does sodium bicarbonate decompose in some way
during storage for a few years that would make my solution taste
more salty than usual?
Google says that sodium bicarbonate breaks down at 60C but my
kitchen cupboard never got that hot! Maybe there is a slow
reaction between sodium bicarbonate and the gases in the
atmosphere?
------
I saw there were some *particles* at the bottom of the glass which
did not dissolve. I Googled and saw that sodium bicarbonate is
said to be completely soluble in water.
QUESTION ONE. What compound would these particles be made of? I
added three times the orginal amount of water and stirred but
still the particles did not dissolve.
Sodium bicarbonate does taste salty. It has nothing to do with it breaking
down - it's simply that the receptors on your tongue that register "salty"
respond to bicarb as well as to actual salt, although less so. I can't help
with those particles though.
--
Peter Aitken

Remove the crap from my email address before using.
Sbharris[atsign]ix.netcom.com
2005-04-17 00:40:10 UTC
Permalink
The receptors are registering sodium ions Na+. These ions taste salty
whether in sodium chloride, sodium flouride, sodium bromide, sodium
bicarbonate, or any sodium salt that is reasonably neutral.

Small positive ions in general taste salty. Other examples are ammonium
NH4+ and lithium Li+. Both have been used for salt substitutes.
Potassium K+ tastes salty, but also bitter at the same time, so it's
not as good a substitute. But also has been used to partially replace
sodium.

SBH
Dave Fawthrop
2005-04-17 06:31:05 UTC
Permalink
On 16 Apr 2005 17:40:10 -0700, "Sbharris[atsign]ix.netcom.com"
<***@ix.netcom.com> wrote:
| Potassium K+ tastes salty, but also bitter at the same time, so it's
| not as good a substitute. But also has been used to partially replace
| sodium.

Commercially Lo-Salt 66% potassium chloride, 33% sodium chloride. I can
only slightly taste the bitterness after being told about it.
--
Dave F
Howard Flight was right
Keith F. Lynch
2005-04-19 01:06:31 UTC
Permalink
Post by Sbharris[atsign]ix.netcom.com
Small positive ions in general taste salty. Other examples are
ammonium NH4+ and lithium Li+. Both have been used for salt
substitutes.
I thought lithium was toxic, especially to people on low-salt diets.
--
Keith F. Lynch - http://keithlynch.net/
Please see http://keithlynch.net/email.html before emailing me.
Nick Maclaren
2005-04-17 08:51:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Aitken
Post by Cori
I saw there were some *particles* at the bottom of the glass which
did not dissolve. I Googled and saw that sodium bicarbonate is
said to be completely soluble in water.
QUESTION ONE. What compound would these particles be made of? I
added three times the orginal amount of water and stirred but
still the particles did not dissolve.
Sodium bicarbonate does taste salty. It has nothing to do with it breaking
down - it's simply that the receptors on your tongue that register "salty"
respond to bicarb as well as to actual salt, although less so. I can't help
with those particles though.
Very likely calcium carbonate, either as a trace impurity in the sodium
bicarbonate, or due to a reaction with the calcium bicarbonate in the
water. I am not enough of a chemist to guess at the possibilities,
but most white deposits in hard water are that.

Don't eat more than 100 grams of it at a sitting - it may give you
indigestion :-)


Regards,
Nick Maclaren.
Sheldon
2005-04-16 22:09:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by Cori
I took half a teaspoon of sodium bicarbonate in half a glass of
tap water for indigestion. I was surprised at just how salty it
tasted.
SODIUM! bicarbonate.

sodium bicarbonate
Date: 1885
: a white crystalline weakly alkaline salt NaHCO3 used especially in
baking powders, fire extinguishers, and medicine - called also baking
soda, bicarbonate of soda
---

Sheldon
The Reids
2005-04-17 12:42:46 UTC
Permalink
Following up to Cori
Post by Cori
I took half a teaspoon of sodium bicarbonate in half a glass of
tap water for indigestion. I was surprised at just how salty it
tasted.
Well it is a salt, but don't know if all salts taste salty?
--
Mike Reid
Wasdale-Thames path-London-Photos "http://www.fellwalk.co.uk" <-- you can email us@ this site
Eat-walk-Spain "http://www.fell-walker.co.uk" <-- dontuse@ all, it's a spamtrap
Steve Turner
2005-04-17 14:31:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by Cori
QUESTION ONE. Does sodium bicarbonate decompose in some way
during storage for a few years that would make my solution taste
more salty than usual?
Google says that sodium bicarbonate breaks down at 60C but my
kitchen cupboard never got that hot! Maybe there is a slow
reaction between sodium bicarbonate and the gases in the
atmosphere?
To add to what others have already written, sodium bicarbonate is
stable to conditions normally found in household pantries. It is
stable in air. Bicarb tastes both salty and bitter ... it is both a
salt and a mild alkali.
Post by Cori
I saw there were some *particles* at the bottom of the glass which
did not dissolve. I Googled and saw that sodium bicarbonate is
said to be completely soluble in water.
QUESTION ONE. What compound would these particles be made of? I
added three times the orginal amount of water and stirred but
still the particles did not dissolve.
My guess is either an impurity in the bicarb or a reaction with a
component of your tap water. Add a little vinegar to the insoluble
granules and watch for fizzing. This will indicate whether the
granules are a carbonate.

Steve Turner
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