How to overcome astringency taste of cake

Dear all,
Currently, I have the problem with the cake made from the premix. The taste of the cake appears astringent, especially when eating more and more. My composed baking powder contains SAPP28 and Baking soda. I think the off-taste come from the baking powder but don’t know how to decrease or remove this bad taste.

Please share your experience to help me to overcome it.

Thank you very much

Thats the notorious " Pyro taste" which is common in baking powder where Na4P2O7 or acid sodium pyrophospate ( SAPP) ,which s the main leavening acid in baking powder. .
This can be reduced by more sugar, in your recipe, stronger flavors , or use more milk or the presence of calcium.salts like calcium.carbonate .
This is the very reason I dont use much or pure SAPP ( sodium pyrophospate in my cake premixes.
If I have to I have to combine with monocalcium phosphates.


Some details of its chemical properties and action:

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You may also check this forum on various query related to bakery products:

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Thank you very much @Roy
I tried to use the commercial baking powder which contains MCP, DCP, SAPP, baking soda. But it is still astringent.

Please advise more.
Many thanks

That’s odd .:smiley:

Will you explain in detail what you did to cut the astringency…
Did you add more baking powder on top of your cake premix ?
Did you formulate your own cake premix, What was the exact composition of your formulation or recipe in cake mixing .?
Details on what you did will help give us an idea whats amiss …
I expect to see your answer soon to clarify it.
BTW if this problem was so urgent why did it took you so long to post a feedback… :thinking:

Hi Mr. Roy,
I just use the commercial baking powdern containing MCP to try cut the astringency instead of using only SAPP as an acid salts, but it doesn’t seem to work effectively.
My ingredients in the the dry mix basically include: Sugar, wheat flour, whey powder, Cocoa powder, Baking powder, emulsifiers (475, 477), Xanthan gum, Allura red.
Dry mix will be added to fresh egg and oil and water to make the cake.

Thank you so much

May I ask do you have a baking powder sensitivity,; I know there are certain people that can’t tolerate baking powder .
Are you a regular user of purchaed cake premixes, or you make your own.If its the latter did you not use baking powder in your self made baking powder.?
There is always an aftertaste in most leavening acids, like SAPP, SAS, which is very distinct, but less with SALP, DCP, MCP, CAPP…
The dose of baking powder in the recipe can also promote it.
The formula balance of leavening acids in relation to the sodium bicarbonate should be nearly neutral.

I remember in your original.post about a commercial cake premix you used thar contain SAPP acidulant.

But to how I understand it now …from your recent post …
Did you mean…you put more baking powder on top of your cake premix.that already contains baking powder already
Is this correct…?

Or you made your own premix now and added a double acting baking powder.
If this is correct what is the complete ingredients component of your added baking powder?

Hi @Roy
Let me summarise my situation.
I am making a cake premix to make cake after mixing it with egg, water and oil.
For the first case, I use my self-composed baking powder containing ony baking soda and SAPP=>finished cake is astringent.
For the second case, i use commercial baking powder containing MCP, DCP, SAPP, baking soda. But it is still astringent.
i don’t want to increase the sweetness level because now it is sweet enough, and No flavor is added because I want the cake just to have the natural flavor of cocoa powder.

So, may be I could decrease the level of baking pơder or use your recommended acidulant such as SALP, DCP, MCP, CAPP…

Thank you very much for your support.

If you made your own baking powder ,what’s the ratio of your SAPP and baking soda.?
If you add commercial baking powder how much did you add based on flour??
As I have no exact idea how much of self made baking powder or the commercial baking powder did you add in relation to flour ( Or in Bakers percent).
BTW, you mentioned SALP ( sodium.aluminum phosphates)do you have that material in stock in your bakery…? That material.prooduces a cleaner tasting cake…

Dear Mr @Roy

For my self-composed baking powder: baking soda 3%, SAPP 4.5% (wheat flour: 100%)
For commercial baking powder: i use 7.5 % ( baker percentage)

Currently, there is no SALP available at my place but may be i would consider it if I can not solve the problem with my current baking powder.

Thank you very much

Your SAPP quantity is in excess of what baking soda can neutralize, plus your baking powder quantity is excessive. .Both of those baking powder you had used in excess can create off taste in your cakes .
For your self made baking powder
You should use only maximum 1.87 %SAPP and 1.54 %Baking Soda based on cake recipe flour.
For your commercial.baking powder. You should use 5% only all based on your cake recipe flour.
May I know are you using paste emulsifiers/cake gel or powdered emulsifiers as they have different usage ratio.
What is the amount of cake gel or if not emulsifier powder you use based on flour.?What is the declared emulsifiers content of your emulsifiers in your cake gel or powdered emulsifiers?

Hi Mr @Roy
Thank you for your advice.
I am using powdered emulsifiers. Its level is about 6.5 percent based on flour. It is the mixture of 471 and 477.


Hi @jonhny123, if its 6.5 ,% powder emulsifiers based on flour then its has lots of filler and the actual amount active emulsifiers is only 30% or less.
In comparison a cake gel or paste emulsifiers is used at 8% which contains roughly 20% emulsifiers content .
With such emulsifiers dose you don’t actually need high quantity of baking powder
Now you had the recommended dose of self made and commercial baking powder and its ratio, It would be interesting to know if the aftertaste is still there and if there is still, which provides the least off taste;
Your self made,or the commercial baking powder .
Hope to hear from you the comparative results.
Good luck…!

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Thank you so much! I really appreciate it.

Wish you good health and a happy new year!

Dear Johhny,

I believe astrigency does not come from your SAPP etc. As Dear friend Roy says, some bad quality SAPPs gives the pyro taste… Completely different from astrigent notes though. These are acidic off flavors. Sapp and other sources of baking soda, if properly used in dosages and are completely neutralized, you will not have a problem.

There are commercially special blends of Sapp, but not the Sapp28 standard one. Completely patented synthesis that remove these bad flavors.
You do not need to have MCP and DCP and SAPP as a leaving acid. Choose 2 only. Either MCP and SAPP or DCPD and SAPP.

Powderes emulsifiers are added at 5-6% flour based. This is to have a good specific gravity. Do you check also the specific gravitiy of your batter?

I can send you some recipes to check for your self

The reason why OP experienced astringency taste was due to the excess of leavening acid over the sodium.bicarbonate, He formulated his baking powder not in accordance with neutralizing value but by the rule of making baking powder using 2 parts acidulant to 1 part bicarbonate which is only correct only if he is using cream of tartar as acidulant.
Then when he used the baking powder and comparing it with commercial baking powder the dose was in excess.
So a baking powder off taste will be apparent regardless of composition.
Balancing his self made baking powder will dramatically minimize if not completely remove the issue.
Regarding the unique Pyro taste of SAPP even ftom the top producers of this leavening acid its still noticeable if you compare with baking powder made with SALP / MCP which is clean tasting.
In double acting baking powder containing other leavening acids like MCP. the Pyro taste is reduced.

My friend, I full agree with you about neutralizing value.

But in terms of different grades of SAPP, we tend to disagree here!! :smile:

SALP, is prohibited in EU due to aluminium content, so I will not refer to SALP.
After numerous trials, of developing special baking powders, I have used in excess of Sapp at 15% of the baking powder to check the pyro taste and there was none. All samples were checked also by a test panel. Above 15% the pyro taste becomes noticeable.

.I had tested in the past different grades of sodium pyrophospate;SAPP 15 to SAPP 42 in a balanced leavening composition and they exhibit some form.of pyro taste in bakery applications. .
I used as control the clean tasting SALP/MCP based leavening system.
The only reason why you don’t feel that pyro off taste is you don’t have a comparison as you can’t use SALP for benchmark. :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:
I can only see that as you have no choice but to.use SAPP,so your panelist taste buds are already used to the pyro taste .