What Is Ascorbic Acid
Ascorbic acid, also known as Vitamin C, is a water-soluble vitamin, meaning that your body does not store it. You have to get it from food and beverages. It is essential for growth, healthy teeth, gums, bones, skin and blood vessels and aiding the absorption of iron. Ascorbic acid is found naturally in many fresh fruits and vegetables. Ascorbic acid and its sodium, potassium, and calcium salts are commonly used as antioxidant food additives. These compounds are water soluble and thus can't protect fats from oxidation: for this purpose, the fat-soluble esters of ascorbic acid with long-chain fatty acids (ascorbyl palmitate or ascorbyl stearate) can be used as food antioxidants.
Which Foods Contain Ascorbic Acid
Dietary sources of vitamin C include many fruits and vegetables. Sources with the most vitamin C are fresh, raw cantaloupes, citrus fruits, kiwis, mangos, papayas, pineapples, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, watermelon and cranberries, according to National Institutes of Health (NIH). Red and green peppers, spinach, cabbage, cauliflower, turnip greens and other leafy greens, tomatoes, potatoes, broccoli, winter squash and Brussels sprouts are other good sources of vitamin C.
Benefits of Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C)
We need vitamin C for the growth and repair of tissues in all parts of the body. It helps the body make collagen, an important protein used to make skin, cartilage, tendons, ligaments, and blood vessels. Vitamin C is needed for healing wounds, and for repairing and maintaining bones and teeth. It also helps the body absorb iron from nonheme sources.
As a food additive, ascorbic acid is widely used in food and beverage industry. You can find it in butter, frozen egg products, powdered and concentrated milk, frozen croquette potatoes, tinned baby foods and wine. It can also be added to products that may lose their vitamin C in processing - such as dried potatoes. It is also used as an antioxidant in the brewing industry where it improves the shelf life of beers and prevents haze development, a preservative in the meat industry where it helps maintain colour, an improving agent in the baking industry and also for inhibiting discolouration in cut fruits, fruit pulp and juices.
5 Facts about Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C)
1. Vitamin C is sensitive to light, air, and heat, so you'll get the most vitamin C if you eat fruits and vegetables raw or lightly cooked.
2. Tablets, capsules, and chewables are probably the most popular forms, but vitamin C also comes in powdered crystalline, effervescent, and liquid forms.
3. Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, meaning that your body doesn't store it. You have to get it from food everyday.
4. Ascorbic acid is considered safe, with a very low incidence of allergic reactions or other adverse effects.
5. Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant, which means it keeps foods from reacting with oxygen when they're exposed to air.