MadSci Network: Chemistry

Re: I need to find an edible ( & preferably tasty) food which contains a base.

Date: Mon Apr 24 16:34:38 2000
Posted By: Phyllis Stumbo, Staff, Nutrition, University of Iowa
Area of science: Chemistry
ID: 956192350.Ch

Of all the foods I am aware of only egg white is alkaline (base) in 
reaction.  The Ph of egg white averages 8.0 (range is 7.0 - 9.0)with 7.0 
being neutral and higher values base and lower values acid.  The 
other item in the kitchen that is alkaline is baking soda (bicarbonate of 
soda), but as you mention this is very bitter tasting.  If you want to see 
a chart of the pH of common foods look in the Handbook of Food Preparation 
published by the American Home Economics Association, Washington, DC (my 
copy is the 8th edition published in 1980, but it has probably been 

You might be interested to know that different dietaries have different 
effect on producing an alkaline or acid urine (sometimes called an "acid 
ash" or "alkaline ash" diet).  These were used clinically at one time, but 
are not currently prescribed.  A diet high in vegetables produces an 
alkaline urine, and a diet high in meat an acid urine.  But this has 
nothing to do with the food itself being acid or base.

Phyllis Stumbo, PhD, RD, LD
University of Iowa

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