What is Cream of Tartar? Why is It Used in Food?

Chemistry, Food
We know the tiny white cubes of salt we shake over our food is sodium chloride. We know the sugar we spoon into our cereal (assuming that's not already been done for us) is sucrose. But what in the world is cream of tartar, and how why to we put that in our food? Chemical Structure Cream of tartar is a by-product. What is it a by-product of? The fermentation of wine. It often settles out in the cask and sometimes in the bottle. Cream of tartar's common technical name is potassium bitartrate. Sometimes it is called potassium acid tartrate since only one of its two available acid groups is neutralized by potassium (red circle), leaving the other acid group unreacted (blue circle). See the diagram. Its acid group, is…
Read More