What is Baking Soda in Australia? Your Ultimate Guide

Sep 3, 2023

what is baking soda in Australia

Baking soda, a household staple, is more than just a leavening agent for your cakes and cookies. In Australia, it’s often referred to as bicarbonate of soda. But what exactly is it, and how does it differ from other similar ingredients? This article will delve into the nitty-gritty details of baking soda in the Australian context.

What is Baking Soda?

Baking soda is a white crystalline powder that is chemically known as sodium bicarbonate. It’s a versatile ingredient used in various applications, from cooking to cleaning and even for medical purposes.

Baking Soda vs. Bicarbonate of Soda: Are They the Same?

In Australia, the terms baking soda and bicarbonate of soda are often used interchangeably. Both refer to the same chemical compound, sodium bicarbonate and serve as leavening agents in cooking.

The Science Behind Baking Soda

Baking soda works as a leavening agent by reacting with acidic ingredients like lemon juice or buttermilk. This reaction produces carbon dioxide gas, causing the dough or batter to rise.

Leavening Agent Acidic Ingredient Reaction
Baking Soda Lemon Juice Rise
Baking Soda Buttermilk Rise

Different Applications of Baking Soda in Australia

Baking soda is a jack-of-all-trades. Here are some of its applications:

  • Culinary Uses: Baking, frying, and beverage-making.
  • Cleaning Applications: Surface cleaning, stain removal.
  • Medical Uses: Antacid, insect bite relief.

Baking Soda and Baking Powder: What’s the Difference?

While both are leavening agents, baking powder comes pre-mixed with an acidic ingredient, usually cream of tartar. Baking soda, on the other hand, requires an external acidic ingredient for activation.

How to Use Baking Soda in Cooking

To get the best results in cooking, follow these tips:

  1. Always sift the baking soda to avoid lumps.
  2. Use precise measurements to prevent a bitter taste.

The ‘Tangy’ Taste of Baking Soda

Baking soda can impart a unique tangy taste to your dishes, enhancing the overall flavour profile.

Importing Baking Soda into Australia

If you’re considering importing large quantities of baking soda into Australia, be sure to check the regulations and guidelines to avoid any legal issues.


Can I use bicarb soda instead of baking powder?

  • Yes, but you’ll need to add an acidic ingredient for activation.

Is baking soda the same as bicarbonate of soda in Australia?

  • Yes, they are the same and are often used interchangeably.

How to make your own baking powder?

  • Mix two parts cream of tartar with one part bicarbonate of soda.

Is baking soda edible?

  • Yes, it’s often used in cooking and baking.

Can baking soda be used for cleaning?

  • Absolutely, it’s a powerful cleaning agent.

Is baking soda good for health?

  • It has some health benefits but should be used in moderation.

Where can I buy baking soda in Australia?

  • Supermarkets, health stores, and online.

How to store baking soda?

  • In a cool, dry place.

Can baking soda expire?

  • It can lose its potency over time.

What are the side effects of baking soda?

  • Excessive consumption can lead to health issues like high sodium levels.


Baking soda, or bicarbonate of soda as it’s commonly known in Australia, is a versatile ingredient with a range of applications. Understanding its properties can help you make the most of this household staple.


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