Syllabus covered in the MSVgo app

Download MSVgo app now!

Chapter 5 – Acid, Bases, And Salts

The following Topics and Sub-Topics are covered in this chapter and are available on MSVgo:


Many of the food items and things we use in our daily life have acids, bases, and salts in different forms. But how do we identify them? Our sense of taste is the first aid that comes to help.

Acid has a sour taste. The word acid comes from the Latin word acere, which means sour. Let’s see the acids contained in the food items:


Food ItemsType of Acid
VinegarAcetic Acid
Lemons, oranges, tomatoes, grapes, berries, pineapples, apples, bananas, pomegranatesCitric acid/ Malic acid/ Tartaric acid
Green leafy vegetables, beetsOxalic acid
CurdLactic acid

Bases have a bitter taste. They feel slippery to touch because they are soapy. Examples of bases we commonly use are:


ItemsTypes of bases
Paper, glass, detergent, toothpasteSodium carbonate
Baking Soda, Fire extinguisher,


Sodium bicarbonate
PaperCalcium hydroxide
Limestone, Blackboard chalkCalcium carbonate
Sanitiser, disinfectantCalcium hydro chlorite

We have learned how acids and bases taste. But it may not be safe to taste everything. Therefore, we use a substance called Indicator to identify them.

Some of the most common natural indicators around us are Litmus, Turmeric, and China Rose petals, etc.

  1. Litmus is a dye extracted from a type of plant called ‘lichen.’ It has a mauve (purple) colour in distilled water.

    • Litmus turns red in an acidic solution, and blue in basic solutions.
    • There are two types of litmus paper – red litmus paper and blue litmus paper.
    • Blue litmus paper turns red when dipped in an acidic solution.
    • Red litmus paper turns blue when dipped in a basic solution.
  2. Turmeric (Haldi) is also a natural indicator. Turmeric does not change its yellow colour with acid but turns red when dipped in basic solution.
  3. China Rose is another natural indicator. Drops of China Rose water change the colour of an acidic solution to dark pink (Magenta) and turn a basic solution to green.

Let us understand the concept from examples of neutralisation in everyday life.

  • Acidity

We often experience a burning sensation in the stomach after eating very spicy food. This is due to the formation of excessive acid in our digestive system. Antacid, which has Milk of Magnesia consisting of Magnesium Hydroxide- a base, helps reduce this discomfort as it neutralises the excess acid.

  • Ant Bite

When an ant bites, it injects formic acid into the skin, causing pain. Rubbing with a basic substance such as baking soda (sodium hydrogen carbonate) or calamine solution (containing zinc carbonate) helps reduce the pain.

  • Soil Treatment

Excessive use of chemical fertilisers makes the soil acidic, which is harmful to the growth of plants. To neutralise the effect of excess fertilisers, bases like quicklime (calcium oxide) or slaked lime (calcium hydroxide) are mixed in the soil.

  • Factory Waste Treatment

Factory wastes are generally acidic. Therefore, basic substances are mixed with the wastes before releasing them into rivers to save aquatic lives.

From the examples cited above, we can observe that the process of neutralisation helps reduce the harmful effect of excess acid or base. The process involves a chemical reaction accompanied by the evolution of heat. We can represent it as:

    \begin{align*} \ce{Acid + Base &-> Salt + Water (Evolution of Heat)} \end{align*}

An example of the neutralisation reaction is:

\underset{\text{[Acid]}}{\ce{Hydrochloric acid (HCl) + }} \underset{\text{[Base]}} {\ce{Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH) = }} \underset{\text{[Salt]}} {\ce{Sodium chloride (NaCl) + }} Water (H2O)+ Heat

As we have seen above, salt is a substance produced during a neutralisation reaction. The chemical nature of salt can be acidic, basic, or neutral. To find out the nature of the salt, we use a synthetic indicator called Phenolphthalein. It is a pink coloured chemical dye. It turns colourless in acidic solutions and retains its pink colour in basic solutions.

Salt can be made of either a weak acid and strong base, strong acid and weak base, or a weak acid and weak base. Accordingly, it can be basic, acidic, or neutral.

Examples of salt in daily life and its uses:

    1. Common salt (Sodium chloride) in food.
    2. Food preservation, fermentation (as in pickles), baking, etc.
    3. Chemical fertilisers contain nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium derived from salts such as ammonium chloride, ammonium nitrate, and ammonium phosphate.
    4. Pesticides – examples: copper sulfate, iron sulfate, etc.
    5. Medicines – widely used in iron pills, laxatives, antacids, disinfectants, etc.
    6. Industry – bleaching agent, photographic paper, films, etc.

We use acids, bases, and salts every day. You can conduct these simple experiments to determine if a food product or daily use product is made of an acid or base or salt. (Do remember to be careful and not taste some of the products directly.)

  1. What is the difference between acids, bases, and salts?
    An acid tastes sour and turns litmus paper to red. A base tastes bitter and turns litmus paper into blue, whereas a salt can be acidic, basic, or neutral.
  2. What are acid, base, and salt? Elaborate with examples.
    Acid is a sour-tasting substance found in our food, fruits, and vegetables, and various chemicals. Examples of acid are Acetic Acid in vinegar, Citric Acid in lemon and oranges, and Oxalic acid in green leafy vegetables.Bases are bitter-tasting compounds found in many materials we use in daily life. Examples include sodium bicarbonate in Baking Soda, sodium carbonate in detergents, calcium hydroxide in paper.Salt is a substance produced by the reaction of an acid with a base. Examples include sodium chloride in common or table salt used in food, sodium carbonate in washing soda, ammonium chloride, ammonium nitrate, potassium chloride in fertilisers.
  3. What are the characteristics of acids, bases, and salts?
    • Acid tastes sour. It turns blue litmus paper red. 
    • Bases taste bitter and turn red litmus paper blue. 
    • Salt is a crystalline substance that tastes salty. Its colour ranges from colourless to white.
  4. Is salt basic or acidic?
    A salt can be either a weak acid and strong base, strong acid and base, or a weak acid and weak acid and weak base. Accordingly, it can be basic, acidic, or neutral.

To understand more such interesting concepts through simple, interactive, and explanatory video-based learning, download the MSVgo app from the iOS App Store, Google Play, or visit the website

High School Physics

  • Alternating Current
  • Atoms
  • Communication Systems
  • Current Electricity
  • Dual nature of Radiation and Matter
  • Electric Charges and Fields
  • Electricity
  • Electromagnetic Induction
  • Electromagnetic Waves
  • Electron Beams and Radioactivity
  • Electrons and Photons
  • Electrostatic Potential and Capacitance
  • Fluid Pressure
  • Force and Acceleration
  • Force And Laws Of Motion
  • Gravitation
  • Internal Energy
  • Kinetic Theory
  • Law of motion
  • Light – Reflection And Refraction
  • Magnetic Effects Of Electric Current
  • Magnetism and Matter
  • Management Of Natural Resources
  • Mechanical properties of Fluids
  • Mechanical properties of Solids
  • Motion
  • Motion in a plane
  • Motion in a straight line
  • Moving Charges and Magnetism
  • Nuclear Energy
  • Nuclei
  • Oscillations
  • Our Environment
  • Paths of Heat
  • Physical world
  • Ray optics and optical instruments
  • Semiconductor Devices
  • Semiconductor Electronics: Materials, Devices and Simple Circuits
  • Simple Machines
  • Sound
  • Sources Of Energy
  • Specific and Latent Heats
  • Spherical Mirrors
  • Static Electricity
  • Systems of Particles and Rotational motion
  • Thermal properties of matter
  • Thermodynamics
  • Units and Measurement
  • Vectors, Scalar Quantities and Elementary Calculus
  • Wave Optics
  • Waves
  • Work, Power and Energy

High School Chemistry

  • Acids, Bases and Salts
  • Alcohols, Phenols and Ethers
  • Aldehydes, Ketones and Carboxylic Acids
  • Aliphatic and Aromatic Hydrocarbons
  • Alkyl and Aryl Halides
  • Amines
  • Analytical Chemistry 
  • Atomic Structure
  • Atoms And Molecules
  • Basic concepts of Chemistry
  • Biomolecules
  • Carbon And Its Compounds
  • Carboxylic acids and Acid Derivatives
  • Chemical Bonding and Molecular Structures
  • Chemical Energetics
  • Chemical Equilibria
  • Chemical Kinetics
  • Chemical Reactions And Equations
  • Chemical Reactions and Their Mechanisms
  • Chemistry in Everyday Life
  • Chemistry of p-Block elements
  • Chemistry of Transition and Inner Transition
  • Classification of Elements
  • Coordination Compounds
  • Cyanide, Isocyanide, Nitro compounds and Amines
  • Electrochemistry
  • Electrolysis
  • Elements, Compounds and Mixtures
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Equilibrium
  • Ethers and Carbonyl compounds
  • Haloalkanes and Haloarenes
  • Hydrocarbons
  • Hydrogen
  • Ideal solutions
  • Introduction to Organic Chemistry
  • Ionic equilibria
  • Matter
  • Matter Around Us
  • Matter In Our Surroundings
  • Metallurgy
  • Metals And Non-Metals
  • Mole Concept and Stoichiometry
  • Natural Resources
  • Organic Chemistry – Basic Principles
  • Periodic Classification of Elements
  • Physical and Chemical Changes
  • Physical and Chemical Properties of Water
  • Polymers
  • Preparation, Properties and Uses of Compounds
  • Principles and Processes of Isolation of Elements
  • Redox Reactions
  • Relative Molecular Mass and Mole
  • States of Matter
  • Structure Of The Atom
  • Study of Compounds
  • Study of Gas Laws
  • Study of Representative Elements
  • Surface Chemistry
  • The d-block and f-block elements
  • The Gaseous State
  • The p-Block Elements
  • The Periodic Table
  • The s-Block Elements
  • The Solid State
  • Thermodynamics

High School Biology

  • Absorption and Movement of Water in Plants
  • Adolescent Issues
  • Anatomy of Flowering Plants
  • Animal Kingdom
  • Bacteria and Fungi-Friends and Foe
  • Biodiversity and Conservation
  • Biofertilizers
  • Biological Classification
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biomolecules
  • Biotechnology and its Applications
  • Biotic Community
  • Body Fluids and Circulation
  • Breathing and Exchange of Gases
  • Cell – Unit of Life
  • Cell Cycle and Cell Division
  • Cell Division and Structure of Chromosomes
  • Cell Reproduction
  • Cellular Respiration
  • Chemical Coordination and Integration
  • Circulation
  • Control And Coordination
  • Crop Improvement
  • Digestion and Absorption
  • Diversity In Living Organisms
  • Ecosystem
  • Environmental Issues
  • Excretory Products and their Elimination
  • Flowering Plants
  • Genes and Chromosomes
  • Health and Diseases
  • Health and Its Significance
  • Heredity And Evolution
  • Heredity and Variation
  • How Do Organisms Reproduce?
  • Human Diseases
  • Human Eye And Colourful World
  • Human Health and Disease
  • Human Population
  • Human Reproduction
  • Hygiene
  • Improvement In Food Resources
  • Integumentary System- Skin
  • Kingdom Fungi
  • Kingdom Monera
  • Kingdom Protista
  • Life Processes
  • Locomotion and Movement
  • Microbes in Human Welfare
  • Mineral Nutrition
  • Molecular Basis of Inheritance
  • Morphology of Flowering Plants
  • Neural Control And Coordination
  • Nutrition in Human Beings
  • Organism and Population
  • Photosynthesis
  • Photosynthesis in Higher Plants
  • Plant Growth and Development
  • Plant Kingdom
  • Pollination and Fertilization
  • Pollution; Sources and its effects
  • Principles of Inheritance and Variation
  • Reproduction and Development in Angiosperms
  • Reproduction in Organisms
  • Reproductive Health
  • Respiration in Human Beings
  • Respiration in Plants
  • Respiratory System
  • Sexual Reproduction in Flowering Plants
  • Strategies for Enhancement in Food Production
  • Structural Organisation in Animals
  • Structural Organisation of the Cell
  • The Endocrine System
  • The Fundamental Unit Of Life
  • The Living World
  • The Nervous System and Sense Organs
  • Tissues
  • Transpiration
  • Transport in Plants

High School Math

  • Algebra – Arithmatic Progressions
  • Algebra – Complex Numbers and Quadratic Equations
  • Algebra – Linear Inequalities
  • Algebra – Pair of Linear Equations in Two Variables
  • Algebra – Polynomials
  • Algebra – Principle of Mathematical Induction
  • Algebra – Quadratic Equations
  • Binomial Theorem
  • Calculus – Applications of Derivatives
  • Calculus – Applications of the Integrals
  • Calculus – Continuity and Differentiability
  • Calculus – Differential Equations
  • Calculus – Integrals
  • Geometry – Area
  • Geometry – Circles
  • Geometry – Conic Sections
  • Geometry – Constructions
  • Geometry – Introduction to Euclid’s Geometry
  • Geometry – Three-dimensional Geometry
  • Geometry – Lines and Angles
  • Geometry – Quadrilaterals
  • Geometry – Straight Lines
  • Geometry – Triangles
  • Linear Programming
  • Matrices and Determinants
  • Mensuration – Areas
  • Mensuration – Surface Areas and Volumes
  • Number Systems
  • Number Systems – Real Numbers
  • Permutations and Combinations
  • Probability
  • Sequence and Series
  • Sets and Functions
  • Statistics 
  • Trignometry – Height and Distance
  • Trignometry – Identities
  • Trignometry – Introduction

Middle School Science

  • Acids, Bases And Salts
  • Air and Its Constituents
  • Basic Biology
  • Body Movements
  • Carbon and Its Compounds
  • Cell – Structure And Functions
  • Changes Around Us
  • Chemical Effects Of Electric Current
  • Chemistry in Your Life
  • Coal And Petroleum
  • Combustion And Flame
  • Components Of Food
  • Conservation Of Plants And Animals
  • Crop Production And Management
  • Electric Current And Its Effects
  • Electricity And Circuits
  • Elements and Compounds
  • Fibre To Fabric
  • Food production and management
  • Force And Pressure
  • Forests: Our Lifeline
  • Friction
  • Fun With Magnets
  • Garbage In, Garbage Out
  • Getting To Know Plants
  • Health and Hygiene
  • Heat
  • Hydrogen
  • Life Processes: Nutrition in Animals and Plants
  • Light, Shadows And Reflections
  • Materials: Metals And Non-Metals
  • Matter and Its States
  • Metals and Non-metals
  • Micro Organisms: Friend And Foe
  • Motion And Measurement Of Distances
  • Motion And Time
  • Nutrition In Animals
  • Nutrition In Plants
  • Organization in Living Things
  • Our Environment
  • Physical And Chemical Changes
  • Pollution and conservation
  • Pollution Of Air And Water
  • Reaching The Age Of Adolescence
  • Reproduction In Animals
  • Reproduction In Plants
  • Respiration In Organisms
  • Rocks and Minerals
  • Separation Of Substances
  • Simple Machines
  • Soil
  • Some Natural Phenomena
  • Sorting Materials Into Groups
  • Sound
  • Stars And The Solar System
  • Structure of Atom
  • Synthetic Fibers And Plastics
  • The Living Organisms And Their Surroundings
  • Transfer of Heat
  • Transformation of Substances
  • Transportation In Animals And Plants
  • Universe
  • Waste-water Story
  • Water: A Precious Resource
  • Weather, Climate And Adaptations Of Animals To Climate
  • Winds, Storms And Cyclones

Middle School Math

  • Addition
  • Area and Its Boundary
  • Boxes and Sketches
  • Data Handling
  • Fun With Numbers
  • Heavy and Light
  • How Many
  • Long And Short
  • Mapping
  • Measurement
  • Money
  • Multiplication and Factors
  • Multiply and Divide
  • Numbers
  • Parts and Wholes
  • Pattern Recognition
  • Patterns
  • Play With Patterns
  • Rupees And Paise
  • Shapes And Angles
  • Shapes And Designs
  • Shapes and Space
  • Similarity
  • Smart Charts
  • Squares
  • Subtraction
  • Tables And Shares
  • Tenths and Hundredths
  • Time
Please switch to portrait mode
for the best experience.
Click to open Popup