Potassium bicarbonate is a carbonate ion. It is formed when carbonic acid undergoes deprotonation. The ion has a chemical structure similar to that of baking soda. In the presence of water, it is slightly alkaline and odorless.
Potassium bicarbonate is a common ingredient in many low-sodium baking powders. It is also used as an antacid and to treat low blood potassium. However, it should not be taken with other potassium sources. Taking potassium bicarbonate alongside calcium, sodium, or magnesium can have adverse effects.
Potassium bicarbonate is an inexpensive, nontoxic base that is widely used as an antacid, dietary supplement, and analytical reagent. As an agricultural and food additive, it has become increasingly popular. Some applications include fire extinguishers, detergents, and soft drinks.
Potassium bicarbonate is available in bulk or submicron form. It is typically packaged in dry, ventilated warehouses. Food-grade potassium bicarbonate is tested for purity and meets ASTM specifications.
Food-grade potassium bicarbonate is commonly used as a food loosening agent. This is because it has the same leavening effect as baking soda. To make it slightly acidic, it is diluted with hydrochloric acid.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves Potassium Bicarbonate for use in a number of applications. Specifically, it is used in the treatment of hypokalemia and chronic renal disease. Moreover, it is used in some pharmaceutical formulations, as a buffering agent, and to improve musculoskeletal health.
Potassium is an important nutrient that is essential for many chemical processes in the body. Low levels of the mineral have been linked to cardiovascular disease.