What is ascorbic acid? Commonly known as vitamin C, ascorbic acid is an organic compound found in fruits and green vegetables. Citrus fruits are the most well-known source of raw ascorbic acids, but they can be added to other food products as well. Ascorbic acid food additives are more common than you’d think. Here’s why.
What Purposes Do Ascorbic Acids Serve?
There are several important uses of ascorbic acids. Most consumers know that vitamin C helps bolster immune systems and protect from viral and bacterial infections, but that’s just the start. Ascorbic acid uses in food also include cell protection. Unstable molecules known as free radicals can attach to cells and damage them. Ascorbic acids have antioxidant properties that prevent that from happening.
Ascorbic acids also support the growth of collagen, which makes up tissue for bones, skin and teeth.
Aside from the human body, ascorbic acid also acts as an effective preservative in jams, meats, bread products and much more.
If They Occur Naturally, Why Add Them to Other Foods?
There are two primary reasons ascorbic acids are used as a food additive:
- They aren’t found everywhere. Ascorbic acid examples include citrus fruits, broccoli and other plants. For consumers not accustomed to eating fresh produce with every meal, ascorbic acids are harder to come by naturally.
- Even fruits and vegetables can be insufficient. In their raw form, citrus fruits and green vegetables are an excellent source of ascorbic acid. Basic preparation and cooking can significantly diminish that. Something as simple as boiling a vegetable can deplete its ascorbic acid levels. Exposure to air can have a negative impact as well.
Because of this, many food products have ascorbic acids added. Examples include fruit juices, cereals, cured meats and even candy.
Is Ascorbic Acid Safe?
Ascorbic acid is generally recognized as safe by the Food and Drug Administration, which means that there are few negative effects when taken in proper dosages. This stance covers use of ascorbic acid as a dietary supplement and as a chemical preservative in food, however, there are side effects associated with higher amounts (more than 2,000 milligrams per day), such as nausea, diarrhea and kidney stones.
PacMoore: Your Source for Ascorbic Acid Additives
At PacMoore, we specialize in all types of food manufacturing services. Customers trust us for quality food additives, including ascorbic acid and much more. Whether it’s improving the quality of your food products or enhancing packaging and presentation, PacMoore has you covered.
Contact us today if you’d like to learn more about ascorbic acids in food products or if you would like to hear about the services we can provide for you.