Did you mean baking soda and vinegar?Apparently soaking meat in a solution of baking soda and water raises the pH on the meat's surface making it more difficult for the proteins to bond excessively which keeps the meat tender and moist when it is cooked. It is used by Chinese restaurants to tenderize beef. From this, I assume it used in making biltong to tenderize the meat. I have only notice it popping up in biltong recipes in recent years. All of my old biltong recipes simply use malt vinegar, salt and coriander
Cure #1 is not necessary if the meat is air dried and no smoke applied, UNLESS you want a different flavor profile like... pastrami, ham etc... It does provide some pathogen protection.. if smoked, it will provide protection from botulism... There is nothing purist about added protection from food borne pathogens..
No, i referenced cooked meats. I have only been able to find references to baking soda and water in cooking. In the case of biltong, I have no idea what combining baking soda and vinegar is expected to achieve.
In all the old Biltong recipes, vinegar is used to sterilize the meat's surface, salt to remove moisture and coriander for flavor. I can only assume people believe that baking soda will tenderize the meat. If so, it would be a good idea to mix it with the salt, apply the mix to the meat and, after a few hours, rinse it off with vinegar (mixed with water) and flavor with coriander before hanging to dry.
I have never used baking soda although lately I have used cure #1 which is frowned on by the purists.