Alum spice has many uses in cooking, including making bread whiter. It’s been used in cooking and baking since Roman times and is a common ingredient in maraschino cherries, baking powder, and other condiments. But its most popular use is as a preservative for pickles and other sour goods. Alum is also used in preserving produce by adding an acidic flavor. In addition to its culinary benefits, alum can be found in a variety of commercial baking powders and other recipes.
While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approves the use of alum as a food additive, people should be careful when handling alum powder. Although alum is not toxic in small quantities, it is still hazardous in high doses. As such, alum is a spice that should be handled with care. Inhaling it can damage the respiratory system and cause a serious allergic reaction.
The spice has been used in cooking for ages but was only recently used as a culinary ingredient. It was previously used as an antiseptic and deodorizing agent and as a fixative for textile dyes.