What is Ascorbic Acid?

While the idea of only eating simple unprocessed foods is great, it can be challenging.

I try to go for the second best thing which is understanding what the unpronounceable ingredients are.

With that goal in mind I give you…

Ascorbic Acid

What is ascorbic acid?

Ascorbic acid or ascorbate is another word for vitamin C.

It occurs naturally in many fruits and vegetables.

Ascorbic acid is easily damaged by heat or contact with iron or copper. Because of this, it is often added back as an additive.

Ascorbic acid has a very similar chemical composition to glucose so manufacturers can cheaply synthesize it with glucose as a starting material.

It has a bitter taste that is often covered up with the addition of citric acid.

What is ascorbic acid used for?

It is used:

  • as an antioxidant used to maintain the red color in cured meat and prevent the formation of nitrosamines that promote cancer.
  • as a nutrient added to fruit drinks, breakfast cereals, and fruit snacks to pump up the vitamin content
  • as a color stabilizer in dried fruit and fresh-cut fruit. It can be added to fresh fruits like apples, avocados, bananas, and pears to prevent browning once they’ve been cut.
  • as an artificial flour aging agent. Aging flour increases the exposure to air, which improves the strength of the resulting dough and result in faster mixing and reduced staling of the finished baked product. Ascorbic acid can be added to bread to artificially age the flour and obtain the same effect.

Fun Fact: Ascorbic acid can be added to water that has been purified using iodine to remove the yucky iodine aftertaste.

Is ascorbic acid safe?

Ascorbic acid is not only safe, it is an essential nutrient for humans.

Leave a comment

1 Comment


What's on your mind?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

  • Follow to receive email notifications of new posts.

  • Follow Me on Twitter

  • Connect via Facebook

  • Archives

  • Categories

  • The Plate Community

    The Plate Community if full of nutrition experts, recipe gurus, and healthy eating champions who love to blog

  • Nutrition Blog Network

    Check out some of the other great blogs by Registered Dietitians

  • The Foodie Blog Roll
  • HealthFill

    The team at Health Fill combines web research with visitors’ tips to offer regularly updated health information. Check it out!

  • Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: