Rumford Baking Powder
In 1856, Eben Horsford received a patent for calcium acid phosphate, one of the ingredients in the basic formula still used today for the manufacture of Rumford Baking Powder.
Bread is considered a basic foodstuff; eaten down through the ages, it continues to be a staple of the modern diet. Yet through much of history, bread was not the light, airy, leavened loaf, roll, or cake of the modern era. The bread of today owes much to the development of new strains of grain, updated milling techniques, and modern ingredients. Especially critical was the evolution of the leavening agent, whether yeast, baking powder, or something else.
The development of modern strains of cultured yeast and the introduction of baking powder contributed to the bread that is today taken for granted. The story of baking powder — used in cakes and quick breads most commonly — owes much to the scientific investigations of Eben Horsford, a New York-born, German-educated chemist. In the mid-19th century, Horsford devised the basic formula still used today for the manufacture of Rumford Baking Powder.
The American Chemical Society designated the development of Rumford Baking Powder a National Historic Chemical Landmark on June 12, 2006, in a celebration in East Providence, Rhode Island.
Visit National Historic Chemical Landmarks to read more about Rumford Baking Powder.
Excerpted with permission, National Historic Chemical Landmarks Program