What is Ammonium Sulfate? Its Uses in Food, Advantages over Common Salt

What is Ammonium Sulfate?

A salt compound that easily dissolves in water and binds to proteins making those compounds it binds with easier to remove from water, is ammonium sulfate. Ammonium Sulfate or  [(NH4)2 SO4], is described as crystalline solid powder that has no odour, and taste slightly salty. It is used in food due to its high solubility in water over common salt.

Also Read: Function of Water and Salt (NaCl) in Bakery Products

Advantage of Ammonium Sulfate over Common Salt

The first main advantage of using ammonium sulfate over common salt in food is due to its high solubility property. It is highly soluble in water. Ammonium sulfate is an ingredient also used as dough conditioners for bread and baked products.

Composition of Ammonium Sulfate

Ammonia, nitrogen, sulfur dioxide, and water comprise ammonium sulfate. In other words:

Also Read: Why Baking Powders MCP, SAPP, SALP, SAS are Used in Biscuits?

  • 21% nitrogen,
  • 24% sulfur,
  • 6% hydrogen,
  • 48% oxygen.

Ammonium Sulfate uses in Food Products

  • As an additive, ammonium sulfate also aids in controlling the pH of flours and baked products.
  • Ammonium sulfate is used as a dough conditioner and dough strengthener in baked products.
  • Ammonium sulfate supplies nitrogen to the yeast for nourishment aiding in yeast function while promoting browning.
  • The Food and Drug Administration requires a maximum level of 0.15 percent to comply with current Good Manufacturing Practices.

Side Effects or Adverse Effect Using high dose of Ammonium Sulfate

  • In small amounts, ammonium sulfate poses no significant health concerns.
  • Though if an excessive amount is digested, gastrointestinal irritation can occur.
  • If the undiluted solid is directly inhaled, respiratory inflammation or irritation can occur.
  • Direct contact can irritate the skin and eyes causing redness or itching.
  • It is also used as a fertilizer for crop & agricultural requirements hence ammonium sulfate is not used in high enough quantities in the food industry to cause harm.

Also Read: Ammonium Bicarbonate – Used as an Ingredient in Bakery Products

FDA Legal Requirement

  • GRAS (21CFR18)

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