Sore throats from some gluten-free baked goods

sore throat
Not all sore throats arise from infections

I noticed that eating certain gluten-free foods can cause a mild sore throat. The irritation is much less intense than what various infections cause, but it is annoying nonetheless. This reaction results from eating some foods with gluten-free flour. Because gluten-free flour doesn't rise like ordinary flour, I suspect that food manufacturers include loads of baking powder in an attempt to replicate the airiness of baked goods made with gluten flour. Evidently, not all of the baking powder is neutralized during the baking process.

Interestingly, the mild chemical burn I perceive from eating gluten-free flours is identical in nature but usually less intense than the burning I experience from eating raw batter made with baking powder and regular gluten flour—I've never been tempted to eat gluten-free batter!

What you don't know about baking powder can hurt you

The double acting baking powder I consumed contains fast-acting and slow-acting acids. The “fast-acting acid reacts in a wet mixture with baking soda at room temperature,” but the “slow-acting acid will not react until heated in an oven,” so the caustic chemicals in double acting baking powder take time and temperature to be neutralized (which may not fully occur if other ingredients affect the batter's pH). Hence, consuming raw batter and foods with incompletely neutralized baking powder can produce a mild chemical burn of the throat and, I suspect, damage dental enamel. People usually think of only acids as being corrosive to enamel, but “exposure to alkaline substances can result in damaged teeth.”

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F. Scott Fitzgerald

Reference: Imagining dialogue can boost critical thinking: Excerpt: “Examining an issue as a debate or dialogue between two sides helps people apply deeper, more sophisticated reasoning …”

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