Baking soda is a leavening agent that is pure sodium bicarbonate. It is added to baking goods before cooking to produce carbon dioxide, which causes the food to “rise”.
I remember seeing baking soda in my house all the time growing up, but I never really asked what it was for until I was a teenager. Since it is so popular, it made sense to have baking soda be the next item in my series “Gluten-Free or Not?“.
Baking soda IS naturally gluten-free. I have used it many times the past few years and it is an integral part of many of my baking recipes. Arm and Hammer is by far the most popular brand around where I live in the Midwest and it is definitely gluten-free. So, if you are gluten-free and wondering about baking soda, you are good to go.
Even though baking soda is naturally gluten-free, baking powder COULD have gluten in it. Baking powder contains starch, which has the possibility of containing gluten, although I have yet to see a powder in the United States that has it so far. Someone I talked to said they saw a cheap brand of baking powder contain wheat starch once, so it is something to keep an eye out for.
When I am doing my shopping, I never worry about baking soda that is 100% baking soda not being gluten-free. But, just to be on the safe side, I like to get baking powder with “Gluten-Free” on it, just to feel safe. Never wanna mess with the unknown!