Cream of Tartar

Cream of Tartar

Cream of Tartar is also known as potassium hydrogen tartrate and is a byproduct of wine making. It’s often used in baking.

Potassium bitartrate crystallizes in wine through the fermentation of grape juice. These white crystals often form on the underside of a cork in wine bottles that have been stored at temperatures below 50F.

These crystals also precipitate out of fresh grape juice when stored for prolonged periods at cool temperatures. The crude form is collected and purified to produce the white and odorless powder used for many culinary and household purposes.

Food Applications

In food products, this ingredient is often used to stabilize egg whites and whipped cream. It can also activate baking soda, which is a component of baking powder. It can prevent syrups from crystallizing and it prevents the discoloration of boiled vegetables. Because of these characteristics, cream of tartar can be found in many food products. It is frequently used in baking. It’s a main ingredient in sugar cookies.

Cream of Tartar – Trigger For Negative Behaviors?

Over the years, I have used cream of tartar in some of the baking recipes such as in sugar cookies. I noticed that cream of tartar can be a trigger for some negative behaviors that are often seen in children with autism. In particular, our son had some negative behaviors almost immediately after eating cookies that were made with this ingredient.

The problem with cream of tartar is that it’s often hidden in the listing of food ingredients. This is because it can be hidden as baking powder . That’s why it’s not always clear that a particular food contains this ingredient. The best thing to do is just to leave out Cream of Tartar when you’re making cookies or other baked goods.

You can also use an alternative: for example lemon juice or vinegar can often be used as a good replacement. What is your experience with Cream of Tartar? Let us know if you have noticed any negative behaviors in your child after consuming baked goods made with this ingredient.

Image by Jill Wellington.

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