What is ascorbic acid?

What is ascorbic acid


Rigest LemonAscorbic acid is commonly found in natural foods and is integral to the human body with adults needing at least 40mg of it every day. It is more commonly known to consumers as vitamin c.

Discovered in 1912 and isolated from natural foods in 1928 ascorbic acid has been the answer to many illnesses and diseases that once led to fatalities including scurvy.

Five years after ascorbic acid (vitamin c) was isolated in foods such as lemons, citrus fruits and other sources it was artificially made for the first time, this advancement led to improvements across the medical industry as the previously hard to acquire ingredient could be readily made.

Thanks to the success of vitamin c in medicine it has been listed on the World Health Organisation’s list of essential medicines.

What are the health benefits of vitamin c?

Deemed the most effective and same medicines needed in a health system by the World Health Organisations speaks volumes of ascorbic acid this is because research shows that it has had an impact on a wide variety of illnesses and diseases such as:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • The common cold
  • Chronic diseases

One of the more startling characteristics of vitamin C is that it has been shown to have an impact on Cancer by slowing the growth and spread of cancerous cells in certain areas of the body. (https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/cam/patient/vitamin-c-pdq )

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Where can you find ascorbic acid

The majority of an adults daily intake of Vitamin c can be achieved through the intake of natural foods, however there is a misconception regarding which foods have the highest amount of vitamin c in. The list below shows the top five:

  1. Guava 
  2. Yellow bell peppers
  3. Peach
  4. Black currants
  5. Mustard spinach

It is often difficult for consumers to get the recommended 50mg of vitamin c through natural foods which is why it has been important to perfect the production of ascorbic acid. Thanks to these developments vitamin C can be consumed much easier through formats including:

  • Tablets
  • Capsules
  • Chewable vitamins

Uses for ascorbic acid

Because of the health benefits of ascorbic acid many food and drink manufacturers use it within the production, especially as some food processes can destroy the natural vitamin c as it is heat sensitive and water soluble.

By using ascorbic acid within the food production process, it still provides the consumer with vitamin C whilst it’s antioxidant characteristics mean the products maintains texture, flavour and colour when exposed to oxygen.

Ascorbic acid is commonly used in products including:

  • Cured meats 
  • Canned fruits
  • Cereals
  • Frozen fruits

To discover more about ascorbic acid download the msds here.

At Rigest we are expert suppliers of ascorbic acid so if you are interested in how it can improve your food or beverage solutions then please get in touch today.



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