Sodium hydroxide (NaOH), also known as lye and caustic soda, is an inorganic compound.
- Food uses of sodium hydroxide include washing or chemical peeling of fruits and vegetables, chocolate and cocoa processing,caramel coloring production, poultry scalding, soft drink processing, and thickening ice cream. Olives are often soaked in sodium hydroxide for softening; Pretzels and German lye rolls are glazed with a sodium hydroxide solution before baking to make them crisp. Owing to the difficulty in obtaining food grade sodium hydroxide in small quantities for home use, sodium carbonate is often used in place of sodium hydroxide.
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.
- Lye-water is an essential ingredient in the crust of the traditional baked Chinese moon cakes.
- Most yellow coloured Chinese noodles are made with lye-water but are commonly mistaken for containing egg.
- Some methods of preparing olives involve subjecting them to a lye-based brine.
- The Filipino dessert (kakanin) called kutsinta uses a bit of lye water to help give the rice flour batter a jelly like consistency. A similar process is also used in the kakanin known as pitsi-pitsi or pichi-pichi except that the mixture uses grated cassavainstead of rice flour.
- Sodium Hydroxide is an inorganic compound used to control the pH levels or serve as a buffering agent in cosmetics and personal care products.
- It was historically used in the formulation of soaps, but is currently seen in a variety of formulas, including bath products, cleansing products, fragrances, foot powders, hair dyes and colors, makeup, nail products, personal cleanliness products, shampoos, shaving products, depilatories, skin care products, and suntan products, as well as chemical hair straighteners and hair wave sets (CosmeticsInfo.org and CosmeticsCop.com).
- It is also a popular ingredient in industrial solvents as a chemical base for soaps, oven cleaners, detergents and drain cleaners because of its ability to dissolve grease, oils, fats and protein based deposits, according to Wikipedia. Less frequently, Sodium Hydroxide is seen as an ingredient in toothpastes.
- Sodium Hydroxide is FDA approved, and has received the GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) rating as a direct food additive. However, it is primarily used in the washing and chemical peeling of produce. It is approved for use in cosmetics and personal care products in varying concentrations: 5% by weight in nail cuticle solvents, 2% by weight in hair straighteners for general use, 4.5% by weight in hair straighteners for professional use, up to a pH 12.7 in depilatories, and up to pH 11 in other uses as a pH adjuster.
Unknown, please consult with your doctor.
lye, caustic soda
Source: Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sodium_hydroxide