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Food Grade NaOH

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#26 Hongyun


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Posted 31 March 2009 - 12:43 AM

Specific foods processed with sodium hydroxide include:

The Scandinavian delicacy known as lutefisk (from lutfisk, "lye fish").
Hominy is dried maize (corn) kernels reconstituted by soaking in lye-water. These expand considerably in size and may be further processed by frying to make corn nuts or by drying and grinding to make grits. Nixtamal is similar, but uses calcium hydroxide instead of sodium hydroxide.
Sodium hydroxide is also the chemical that causes gelling of egg whites in the production of Century eggs.
German pretzels are poached in a boiling sodium carbonate solution or cold sodium hydroxide solution before baking, which contributes to their unique crust.
Most yellow coloured Chinese noodles are made with lye-water but are commonly mistaken for containing egg."

I was just thinking of asking "What about the pretzels, century eggs and yellow noodle process?". All of them uses NaOH as part of their ingredient. But at what limit? Or purely based on pH value?

Look! I've gone pale with the shame and embarrassment of failure!

LOL. Take it easy man. It just means you have learnt something new today. :smile: Hope this new information has spark some interest in your current not-so-enjoyable job? Maybe you can start auditing some chinese food industry producing century eggs and yellow noodles.

Edited by Hongyun, 31 March 2009 - 12:52 AM.

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#27 Charles.C


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Posted 31 March 2009 - 01:17 AM

Dear GMO,

Great digging, analysing and apologising. :clap: :clap:

@ Arya, I see the cost is dropping fast, 3-4 USD / kg (do you hv an American affiliate ?? :smile: )

I should hv addded the (prestigious) link to my previous clip -


The E-number has a marvellous list here -


520 - 529 are pH regulators / hydroxides

Gold has a number also !!

Presumably the full document defines acceptable limits to be employed ?

NOTE THAT SOME NUMBERS ARE FORBIDDEN, DANGEROUS ETC, eg Formaldehyde, ie the possession of an E-number does not guarantee acceptability. I did not know that.

The info in one link (Food-Info.net) seems partly questionable to me -

Acceptable daily intake (ADI):
None determined
(Really ??)

Side effects:
None known.
(More Really)

Dietary restrictions:
None. E524 can be used by all religious groups, vegetarians and vegans.
(Surely this depends on "quality" standard of process)

And the thread (more or less on-topic) goes on .... :clap:

Rgds / Charles.C

added - A stated "EU approved additives" list is here -


(includes NaOH and Gold) !

Kind Regards,



#28 a_andhika


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Posted 31 March 2009 - 02:23 AM

Dear All,

Wheeew... the topic is getting complicated. But at least I can finally relief that the FG NaOH do really exist on this planet. I dont mind with the discussion. As matter of fact, it can helps me to deal with the suppliers. So I guess the off-topic session right now is: a quest on searching cheap FG NaOH ;)

The price itself is quite remarkable. I still cant figure what the common price for it. I have some products from USA, but I dont know if the mentioned company would service a medium scale, since the usage is quite minimum (in respect of 1% limit). I've found some local suppliers too, hope I can get another hunch after contacting them.

Back to the "main" topic. I am suppose to think that, most of strong chemicals must be handled with care. Take oleoresins as example. Some of them extracted from spices, but it may cause a severe burn to your skin!! Dont know bout the side effect of NaOH, but if it used in a good manner (again, in respect of 1%), perhaps the side effect wont be significant?!?

The interesting fact bout the "E" number is, why on earth they give number to the chemical which even they consider it as a "Forbidden" or "Unpermitted"? To be honest, I just know this "E" Number from GMO and Charles, but dont you also think there will be a major miss interpretation regarding this? Amazing...



PS: If the price goes down below a buck/kg, then I might eat my own shoes :)

safety and quality means perfection
nobody's perfect
why should I bother?

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