Ascorbic acid is a similar molecular compound of vitamin C performing the same function as vitamin C. Ascorbic acid is a chemical name (C6H8O6) of vitamin C and can be used as an antioxidant food additive. The purest form of vitamin C that was first synthesized, the name comes from Latin word no scurvy, that indicates to the disease caused by vitamin C deficiency. Ascorbic acid plays a vital role in bodily functions and must be obtained from dietary sources, as humans cannot produce it.

Vitamin C is found naturally in many fruits and vegetables. Humans are not able to produce ascorbic acid and should get it from the diet, or else will result in a deficiency. Synthetic ascorbic acid is manufactured by several processes including bacteria that reduce glucose and produce ascorbic acid as a byproduct.

Synthetic ascorbic acid is available in a variety of forms that includes salts and esters- sodium ascorbate, calcium ascorbate, potassium ascorbate, ascorbyl palmitate, or ascorbyl stearate.

Food Sources of Ascorbic Acid

  • Oranges
  • Gooseberry (Amala)
  • Red peppers
  • Kale
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Broccoli
  • Strawberry
  • Grapefruit
  • Guava
  • Kiwi
  • Muskmelon
  • Tomatoes
  • Potato

Benefits Of Ascorbic Acid

Ascorbic acid is used to treat low levels of vitamin C in people who do not get adequate amount of the vitamin from their diets. Deficiency of vitamin C can result in a condition called scurvy, that may cause symptoms such as rash, muscle weakness, joint pain, and tiredness.

Ascorbic acid plays a vital role in several bodily functions. It is required to maintain the health of skin, cartilage, teeth, bone, and blood vessels. The antioxidant properties protect the body from cell damage.

Uses of Ascorbic Acid

Ascorbic acid is used mainly as an antioxidant food additive.

A natural preservative and low pH of ascorbic acid prevent microbial growth, thereby preventing food spoilage, preserve the freshness and colour.

As a preservative in a variety of food products, including bread, cured meats, jams and jellies, sauces and spreads.

 Ascorbic acid function as an outstanding component of food supplementation. As natural vitamin C is easily destroyed, foods fortified with the ascorbic acid top up the vitamin C content.

The tangerine flavour of ascorbic acid enhances food products taste. Candies, jams, jellies, and fruit juices often benefit from the tinge of acidity that provides the consumer with the diverse taste of fresh juices.

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