Potassium bitartrate, also known as potassium hydrogen tartrate, is an acidic byproduct of winemaking. In cooking, it is known as Cream of Tartar. Cream of tartar or potassium bitartrate crystallizes out of solution when grapes are fermented during winemaking. Crystals of cream of tartar may precipitate out of grape juice after it has been chilled or left to stand or the crystals may be found on the corks of wine bottles where the wine has been stored under cool conditions. The crude crystals, called beeswing, may be collected by filtering the grape juice or wine through cheesecloth. Cream of tartar is an odorless white crystalline powder. Traces of calcium tartrate have been found in a pottery jar in northern Iran that dates back over 7,000 years.
One of the best-known uses for cream of tartar is for stabilizing egg whites while whipping them. A pinch of cream of tartar added while the whites are being whipped will strengthen the matrix of bubbles and help prevent the egg foam from collapsing too quickly. The tartar also helps to increase the volume of the egg foam and keeps them bright and white.
Cream of tartar is also often added to baked products to help activate the alkaline baking soda. In fact, cream of tartar mixed with baking soda is what gives us baking powder.
How to use:
It can be used in baking or as a cleaning solution (when mixed with an acidic solution such as lemon juice or white vinegar).
You should consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner before using any herbal products, particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications.
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