Alum Powder


Alum powder, found in the spice section of many grocery stores, is used in pickling recipes and as a preservative to maintain fruit and vegetable crispness. Alum is used as the acidic component in some commercial baking powders.

Alum is toxic to humans in larger quantities and most people now choose to omit it from pickling recipes.


Other names: Alum
Translations: Alauna Pulveris, Alum Milteliai, Alum Pulbere, Stipsa prahu, Bột phèn, Ałunu Powder, Alum Poeder, पाउडर फिटकिरी, Alum Pó, Алум порошковой, Στυπτηρία Σκόνη, مسحوق الشب, 졸업생 파우더, Kamenec Prášek, Tawas Powder, 明矾粉, Alum en pols, Kamenec Prášok, אלום אבקת, Alun Pulver, Стипса у праху, アラムパウダー, Alun en poudre, Alum Pulver, Alumbre en polvo, Алум порошкової, Aluna-aine, Стипца Прах

Physical Description

Translucent crystal or white crystalline powder

Colors: white

Tasting Notes

Flavors: Sour. Do not taste.
Mouthfeel: Astringent
Food complements: Not applicable
Wine complements: Not applicable
Beverage complements: Not applicable
Substitutes: For canning or acidifying purposes, Use citric acid or another powdered acid. for baking powder, Use cream of tartar.

Selecting and Buying

Seasonality: january, february, march, april, may, june, july, august, september, opctober, november, december
Peak: january, february, march, april, may, june, july, august, september, opctober, november, december
Choosing: Alum is a pure chemical. All commercial preparations should be the same.
Buying: Alum can be found with spices or canning supplies.
Procuring: Alum can be naturally derived or processed from minerals such as alunite and kalinite, but this is typically done in industrial conditions and not at home.

Conserving and Storing

Store alum in a sealed container in a cool, dry place. Keep away from children and pets, as consuming large quantities can be toxic.


History: Alum was once used as a crisping and acidifying agent for canning, or as the acid component of baking powder. Because of its toxicity and tendency to irritate the skin, it has generally been replaced by other substances such as citric acid and cream of tartar. It can still be found as an ingredient in some natural deodorants and styptic pencils.



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