Many people are familiar with the baking powder most of us keep in our kitchens. Monocalcium phosphate is one of the common ingredients found in baking powder and as it plays a critical role in ensuring the baked goods we enjoy rise when baked.
In baked goods, monocalcium phosphate reacts with baking soda to produces carbon dioxide which helps the dough rise. The release of carbon dioxide is why you can see air bubbles in many baked goods and is what helps make your favorite bakery treat light, fluffy and delicious.
One of the biggest challenges when making some baked goods is ensuring that the product rises at the right time, which may require releasing carbon dioxide in a very controlled manner. Too early and the muffin might be too dense. Too late and the muffin might crumble. Manufacturers add monocalcium phosphate to ensure the right amount of carbon dioxide is released at just the right moment for the best results.
The amount of leavening (or rise) needed to make the broad array of baked goods we enjoy varies. Monocalcium phosphate is particularly useful because it can be used in small amounts in combination with other leavening agents to provide the leavening needed for many different types of dough and baked products. The next time you take a bite of birthday cake or enjoy a fluffy breakfast pastry, chances are that monocalcium phosphate was responsible for the light, airy texture of those treats.