Digestive biscuit
A digestive biscuit, sometimes referred to as a sweet-meal biscuit, is a semi-sweet
Sweetness is one of the five basic tastes and is almost universally regarded as a pleasurable experience. Foods rich in simple carbohydrates such as sugar are those most commonly associated with sweetness, although there are other natural and artificial compounds that are sweet at much lower...

A biscuit is a baked, edible, and commonly flour-based product. The term is used to apply to two distinctly different products in North America and the Commonwealth Nations....

 originated in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 and popular worldwide. The term 'digestive' is derived from the belief that they had antacid
An antacid is a substance which neutralizes stomach acidity.-Mechanism of action:Antacids perform a neutralization reaction, increasing the pH to reduce acidity in the stomach. When gastric hydrochloric acid reaches the nerves in the gastrointestinal mucosa, they signal pain to the central nervous...

Chemical property
A chemical property is any of a material's properties that becomes evident during a chemical reaction; that is, any quality that can be established only by changing a substance's chemical identity...

 due to the use of sodium bicarbonate
Sodium bicarbonate
Sodium bicarbonate or sodium hydrogen carbonate is the chemical compound with the formula Na HCO3. Sodium bicarbonate is a white solid that is crystalline but often appears as a fine powder. It has a slightly salty, alkaline taste resembling that of washing soda . The natural mineral form is...

 when they were first developed. Historically, some producers used diastatic
°Lintner or degrees Lintner is a unit used to measure the ability of a malt to reduce starch to sugar, that is, its diastatic power. While the measurement is applicable to any amylase, in general it refers to the combined α-amylase and β-amylase used in brewing. The term is also generalized to...

 malt extract
Malt is germinated cereal grains that have been dried in a process known as "malting". The grains are made to germinate by soaking in water, and are then halted from germinating further by drying with hot air...

 to 'digest' some of the starch
Starch or amylum is a carbohydrate consisting of a large number of glucose units joined together by glycosidic bonds. This polysaccharide is produced by all green plants as an energy store...

 that existed in flour
Flour is a powder which is made by grinding cereal grains, other seeds or roots . It is the main ingredient of bread, which is a staple food for many cultures, making the availability of adequate supplies of flour a major economic and political issue at various times throughout history...

 prior to baking
Baking is the technique of prolonged cooking of food by dry heat acting by convection, and not by radiation, normally in an oven, but also in hot ashes, or on hot stones. It is primarily used for the preparation of bread, cakes, pastries and pies, tarts, quiches, cookies and crackers. Such items...

Digestives are known at least as far back as\\ advertisement
Advertising is a form of communication used to persuade an audience to take some action with respect to products, ideas, or services. Most commonly, the desired result is to drive consumer behavior with respect to a commercial offering, although political and ideological advertising is also common...

s for Huntley & Palmers
Huntley & Palmers
Huntley & Palmers was a British firm of biscuit makers originally based in Reading, Berkshire. The company created one of the world's first global brands and ran what was once the world’s largest biscuit factory. Over the years, the company was also known as J...

 in 1876, with a recipe
A recipe is a set of instructions that describe how to prepare or make something, especially a culinary dish.-Components:Modern culinary recipes normally consist of several components*The name of the dish...

 being given in Cassell's 'New Universal Cookery Book' of 1894.