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Baking Powder WarsThe Cutthroat Food Fight that Revolutionized Cooking$
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Linda Civitello

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780252041082

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252041082.001.0001

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The Rise of Baking Powder Business

The Rise of Baking Powder Business

The Northeast, 1856–1876

(p.33) Chapter 3 The Rise of Baking Powder Business
Baking Powder Wars

Linda Civitello

University of Illinois Press

In antebellum America, baking powder experimentation moved out of women’s kitchens and into men’s laboratories as chemistry became a serious discipline. In 1856, Eben Horsford, a chemistry professor at Harvard, patented the first true baking powder, which he called yeast powder. It coincided with the discovery that yeast was a live fungus, which disgusted Americans concerned about food adulteration, and who flocked to baking powder bread made without fermentation. In 1868, in New York City, salesman William Ziegler, together with pharmacists the Hoagland brothers, formed the Royal Baking Powder Company, which used cream of tartar, a formula different from Horsford’s.

Keywords:   baking powder, yeast powder, fermentation, adulteration, Horsford, Rumford, Harvard, chemistry, Royal, Ziegler

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