Detailed Product Description
Ascorbic acid (vitamin C) is used extensively in the food industry, not only for its nutritional value but for its many functional contributions to product quality.
Acting as an antioxidant, ascorbic acid can improve the color and palatability of many kinds of food products. By removing oxygen from its surroundings, ascorbic acid in its reduced form becomes the oxidized form, dehydroascorbic acid. This oxidizing action reduces the available oxygen in its immediate environment, making ascorbic acid an effective antioxidant.
The chemical properties of ascorbic acid provide a wide range of industrial applications. The uses of ascorbic acid or vitamin C depend on its chemical properties as an antioxidant or on its health-related properties. About one-third of total production is used for vitamin preparations in the pharmaceutical industry (vitamin C). The rest is mainly applied as an additive to food and feed to enhance product quality and stability (ascorbic acid). This means that ascorbic acid added to foodstuffs during processing or before packing protects color, aroma and nutrient content. This use of ascorbic acid does not depend on its vitamin action. In meatprocessing ascorbic acid makes it possible to reduce both the amount of added nitrite and the residual nitrite content in the product and to preserve the color of the meat product. The addition of ascorbic acid to fresh wheat flour improves its baking qualities, thus saving the 4-8 weeks of maturation flour would normally have to undergo after milling. Most important in baking is the dough-strengthening effect of ascorbic acid in order to prevent the collapse of the dough during fermentation and baking steps.
Ascorbic acid and related product forms are mainly used for the following functions in
the food industry:
Physiological functions (as a nutrient)
For fortification of food and beverages:
- As pure substance
- In blends (premixes).
For various technological processes as a food additive:
- Antioxidant in aqueous systems (ascorbic acid and ascorbates)
- Retardation of oxidative rancidity for fats and oils (ascorbyl palmitate)
- Curing agent in meat processing to inhibit nitrosamine formation (ascorbic
acid and sodium ascorbate)
- Improvement of wheat-flour and dough quality for bread baking (ascorbic
- Protection from enzymatic browning in processed fruits and vegetables
- Increased clarity of wine and beer.