It is a food additive also known as “cream of tartar” and it is actually potassium hydrogen tartrate (potassium bitartrate) with formula KC4H5O6, in the form of white powder, which results from the process of fermentation/maturation and aging of wine, and then subjected to refinement.
It’s combination with water results in tartaric acid. It is a very stable compound that has a very long shelf life.
Cream of tartar is used in recipes for pastry and confectionery, to increase volume, for aeration and lowering pH.
It is also used to stabilize the whip or blown sugar in various forms as well as it is used as an environmentally friendly detergent.
Moreover, this compound acts as a preservative for the wine as well as it helps to help control the pH of fermenting grape juice. In addition, it is useful for cleaning copper cookware. For this, you just need to mix this compound with water and make a paste, then, rub onto your pans and pots.
Removes laundry stain. You may make a paste out of lemon juice combined with this substance and apply to laundry stains. Then, let it sit for approximately half an hour and then throw it in the wash.
Medicinal Uses of Potassium Bitartrate
Combining 3 tbs of Epsom with 2 tbs of this compound to create a bath may relieve arthritis pain naturally.
Arthritis is a large group (for instance, it impairs the quality of life for more than 27 million people in the United States) of degenerative and painful conditions characterized by inflammation of the joints which ultimately leads to pain and stiffness.
If you have a love of spicy food or just food in general, there are high chances that you’ve encountered indigestion at least once in your life.
This can lead to heartburn or acid reflux. Eventually, heartburn escalates into a more serious disorder known as GERD – gastroesophageal reflux disease.
Other foods which can lead to heartburn are onions, tomatoes, coffee, chocolate, caffeine, and alcohol. Using this compound can relieve heartburn symptoms naturally.
Because of its high content of potassium (an essential mineral for cardiovascular health), ingesting this compound lowers blood pressure.
If you have hypertension, this higher pressure puts extra strain on your blood vessels and heart. Consequently, as time passes, this extra strain increases your chances of a stroke or heart attack.
Cigarette smoking kills more than 480,000 people in the United States every year, with more than 41,000 of these deaths from exposure to secondhand smoke.
If you want to quit smoking, you may combine one cup of orange juice with 1 tsp of this substance.
Potassium Hydrogen Tartrate Substitutes
If you have no cream of tartar in the pantry, you can use one of these substitutes: For beating egg whites – use an equal amount of white vinegar or lemon juice, or leave out the cream of tartar entirely.
As fermentation agent – Replace baking soda and cream of tartar in the recipe with baking powder. For glaze – leave out the cream of tartar. Replacement is not necessary.
Additionally, buttermilk (the liquid that is left behind after churning butter out of cultured cream) can make a suitable replacement, particularly in baked goods.
Cream of tartar is also used as a treatment for various conditions. However, clinical studies could only show that this is a diuretic substance and is effective against constipation when used along with baking soda (in suppository) or simple (oral administration).
Is It Vegan?
Yes. Not all winemakers use animal products in the process, therefore, some brands of cream of tartar can be consumed by vegans.
Is It Gluten-Free?
Ies. It contains no grains that have gluten.
As long as it is kept away from direct light and heat in a sealed container, this compound maintains its effectiveness indefinitely (at least in theory).
There is no information available regarding its toxicity. However, there were several cases in which consumption of this substance for the purpose of “cleansing” the body leads to hyperkalemia, a very serious condition that can cause death.
Hyperkalaemia is an increased concentration of potassium in the blood, above normal limits. Potassium is obtained through diet and the excess is eliminated by kidneys.
Using cream of tartar can lead to an increased potassium concentration that is above the normal range (1 teaspoon cream of tartar contains approximately 500 mg potassium).
However, even if this compound has a high potassium content, there are no known cases of poisoning after ingesting it.
People suffering from Addison’s disease, diabetes, acute renal failure or those undergoing treatments that prevent the excretion of potassium from the body through urine should not use it.
Also, consumption of large amounts of cream of tartar may cause nausea, diarrhea, and inflammation of the digestive system. Lastly, it is not advisable to consume it without consulting a healthcare specialist.
References https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3570668/ https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/ja02103a008 https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/nursing-and-health-professions/