Ascorbic acid (C6H8O6) is commonly used in dough to give it strength and elasticity. However, I need this dough to be alkaline, or at the very least neutral. I've used sodium carbonate (Na2CO3) before for this purpose but never at the same time with ascorbic acid.

If I use vitamin C in dough to make it elastic, as well as sodium carbonate to it neutralize it, will the dough retain the elastic properties caused by the ascorbic acid? What ratio of ascorbic acid to sodium carbonate creates a neutral solution? Thanks!

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    $\begingroup$ Never heard of this use of ascorbic acid before, interesting. I am not sure if this question is a little off-topic, though. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 25, 2019 at 21:52
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    $\begingroup$ Ascorbic acid is vitamin C, which I am considering adding to my dough mix in powdered form. I included this context in original post because the way I intend to use it relates to one of its properties (elasticity), which I want to keep while neutralizing it. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 25, 2019 at 22:48
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    $\begingroup$ sodium ascorbate is a different substance than ascorbic acid. Why should it keep the acid properties ? $\endgroup$
    – Poutnik
    Commented Dec 26, 2019 at 5:32
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    $\begingroup$ I DON'T want the acidic properties; I want the elasticity that ascorbic acid adds to dough. Thing is, it also lowers the pH level. This can be countered by adding a base, like sodium carbonate. I wanted to know if having ascorbic acid and sodium carbonate in the same solution would cause any unwanted effects or lack thereof, such as no longer contributing to dough elasticity. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 26, 2019 at 8:15
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    $\begingroup$ @Poutnik Sorry, my bad for misunderstanding. As for ascorbic acid and sodium carbonate not being able to exist in the same solution, I meant adding those to things to a solution (i.e.: the dough). For example, having dough comprised of flour and water, adding vitamin C to strengthen the dough and give it more elasticity, then adding sodium carbonate to counter the acidity of vitamin C. My question is whether that final step (adding sodium carbonate to increase the pH level of the dough) would also affect the increased elasticity due to the vitamin C in any way. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 27, 2019 at 7:36

1 Answer 1


There is high probability the desired properties of ascorbic acid are directly related to acid being acidic and in the free acid form, i.e. not in the form of the ascorbate.

It is hard to advise, not being familiar with this part of the applied food chemistry, it the effect of ascorbic acid happens in the cold dough conditioning stage and/or in the stage of the later thermal processing, in case of noodles.

If the sodium carbonate is added later to the dough, it is unclear, how well would be the dough mixed to neutralized the acid, and what the sideeffect would be.

Bakerpedia.com explicitly advices against using ascorbic salts.

I highly advice to experiment, as theory will probably not provide clear advice. I am not sure, if the acid is applicable to the noodle dough as much as for bread dough.

  • $\begingroup$ Baker baker, baking a cake / Make me a day, make me whole again / And I wonder what's in a day / What's in your cake this time” (Tori Amos – Baker Baker) $\endgroup$
    – andselisk
    Commented Dec 27, 2019 at 11:56
  • $\begingroup$ I am a medical student and in my book, it is stated that L-ascorbic acid is destroyed by alkalis but the mechanism is not mentioned $\endgroup$
    – mohamed
    Commented Dec 27, 2019 at 12:20
  • $\begingroup$ It is not directly destroyed in mild alkalic solution, but it rather rapidly oxidated. But the point is, even before destruction of the ascorbate, the ascorbate itself may not be active in the bakery context, if the acid form is required. $\endgroup$
    – Poutnik
    Commented Dec 27, 2019 at 12:37
  • $\begingroup$ @Poutnik Thank you for your help. Once I get the chance I'll experiment with adding ascorbic acid and sodium carbonate to dough. I'll also measure their pH levels to see what the end result is and update this post with my findings as well. Cheers! $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 28, 2019 at 3:53

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