Also known as sodium bicarbonate, baking soda is a naturally occurring element found in all living matter. It is extracted from a mineral called trona, but it can also be manufactured. When mixed with an acid, baking soda releases carbon dioxide and leaves a small amount of salt. Gas is released immediately on contact, therefore batter should not be left to sit for any length of time, as the texture of the finished product will be radically affected. Some of the acids used with baking soda are buttermilk, citrus juices, sour cream, yogurt, molasses, chocolate, honey, or cream of tartar. If baking soda is not mixed with the appropriate amount of acid, the finished product will have an unpleasant, almost soapy taste.