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Comparison of Vitamin C Content of Commercially Available Fresh Fruits


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Aims: The aim of the current paper is to identify the ascorbic acid level in ten commercially available fruits in order to expand the existing database about fruits rich in Vitamin C and to promote their daily consumption. Study Design: Research was conducted experimentally. Place and Duration of Study: University of food technologies, Plovdiv, Bulgaria, October 2019. Methodology: Ascorbic acid levels were determined with the use of two oxidation-reduction titration methods-Dichlorophenoliodophenol (DCPIP) and N-Bromosuccinimide (NBS). Results: All studies samples possessed different amounts of ascorbic acid. Both DCPIP and NBS assay resulted in determining strawberries as the fruit with the highest ascorbic acid levels-55.1 ± 1.6 mg/100 g and 59.8 ± 2.2 mg/100 g respectively. Lowest values were obtained for fig. All results are commensurable to those obtained in other studies. Ascorbic acid levels were as follows: strawberries > grapefruit > pear > green apple > blueberries > quince > banana > plum > white grapes > fig. Conclusion: In this study, ten commercially available fruits were studied for their ascorbic acid levels. Comparison between two titration methods showed moderate differences in the results confirming that the NBS method is more sensitive. All reported data confirms that differences occur, but fruits can be considered sources of vitamin C.
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Asian Food Science Journal
13(2): 1-6, 2019; Article no.AFSJ.52365
ISSN: 2581-7752
Comparison of Vitamin C Content of Commercially
Available Fresh Fruits
Aneta Popova
University of Food Technologies, 26 Maritsa Blvd, 4002-BG, Plovdiv, Bulgaria.
Author’s contribution
The sole author designed, analysed, interpreted and prepared the manuscript.
Article Information
DOI: 10.9734/AFSJ/2019/v13i230100
Dr. Uttara Singh, Assistant Professor, Department of Foods and Nutrition, Govt. Home Science College, Panjab University,
Dr. Surapong Pinitglang, Assisstant Professor, Department of Food Innovation, Dean, School of Science and Technology,
University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, Bangkok, Thailand.
Balogun Olalekan Blessing, Joseph Ayo Babalola University, Nigeria.
Michael Bordonaro, Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine, USA.
Maricica Pacurari, Jackson State University, United States.
Complete Peer review History:
Received 28 August 2019
Accepted 01 November 2019
Published 05 November 2019
The aim of the current paper is to identify the ascorbic acid level in ten commercially
available fruits in order to expand the existing database about fruits rich in Vitamin C and to
promote their daily consumption.
Study Design: Research was conducted experimentally.
Place and Duration of Study: University of food technologies, Plovdiv, Bulgaria, October 2019.
Methodology: Ascorbic acid levels were determined with the use of two oxidation-reduction
titration methods – Dichlorophenoliodophenol (DCPIP) and N-Bromosuccinimide (NBS).
Results: All studies samples possessed different amounts of ascorbic acid. Both DCPIP and NBS
assay resulted in determining strawberries as the fruit with the highest ascorbic acid levels – 55.1 ±
1.6 mg/100 g and 59.8 ± 2.2 mg/100 g respectively. Lowest values were obtained for fig. All results
are commensurable to those obtained in other studies. Ascorbic acid levels were as follows:
strawberries > grapefruit > pear > green apple > blueberries > quince > banana > plum > white
grapes > fig.
Conclusion: In this study, ten commercially available fruits were studied for their ascorbic acid
levels. Comparison between two titration methods showed moderate differences in the results
confirming that the NBS method is more sensitive. All reported data confirms that differences
occur, but fruits can be considered sources of vitamin C.
Original Research Article
Popova; AFSJ, 13(2): 1-6, 2019; Article no.AFSJ.52365
Keywords: Ascorbic acid; fruit; commercially available; fresh.
According to the Food and Agriculture
Organization, some of the most common and
debilitating eating disorders in the world,
including birth defects, mental and physical
retardation, weakened immune systems,
blindness and even death, are caused by a lack
of vitamins and minerals in the daily diet [1]. Low
intake of fruits and vegetables is a major
contributing factor for such a deficiencies of trace
elements. Fruits provide a wide variety of
minerals and vitamins, especially vitamin C and
are a fast source of hydration. They positively
affect the functioning of the digestive system.
Due to their diuretic nature, they facilitate the
purification of the body and contain natural
antioxidants [2].
Phytochemical studies have attracted the
attention of specialists in the search for additional
raw material resources with beneficial properties
[3]. Consumption of fresh fruits contributes to the
sustainability of the food system because it
reduces energy consumption and generates less
carbon dioxide emissions since it does not need
to be transported from remote farming areas.
The natural production cycle is respected as it is
more environmentally friendly and respectful of
the environment. In addition, fruits grown
outdoors have a better taste because they lose
some of their flavor in a greenhouse [4].
In the early 21st century, nutritionists began to
highlight the benefits of plant-based foods,
further emphasizing the benefits of a plant-based
diet [5]. There is an ambition to provide
affordable, natural and personalized food. The
food industry relies not only on products but also
on consumers' dietary preferences. A lifestyle
that promotes the consumption of foods that
contribute to a healthy diet and have less impact
on the planet's ecosystem is encouraged [6].
Awareness of healthy behaviors can contribute to
a more sustainable European healthcare system
by reducing the severity of diseases, which can
be avoided with the help of appropriate nutritional
Fruit production is undoubtedly of great
importance in the agricultural sector because of
its economic importance and its beneficial effects
on human health. Consumption of fresh fruits
and/or vegetables and their juices is associated
with beneficial substances intake for the human
body [7]. According to Eurostat, 64% of the
people living in the European Union put fruits on
their table every day [8]. Fruits comprise of
mainly polysaccharides, polyphenolic
compounds, vitamins and minerals. Fruits can be
consumed raw or as a material for the
preparation of certain new products with health-
promoting properties.
It is well known that Vitamin C is a water-soluble,
heat-sensitive and very important for human
health [9,10]. Many plant-based products have
been reported to possess ascorbic acid in
different amounts. For instance, oranges have
58.30 mg/100 g vitamin C levels [11], and
lemons 50.4 mg/100 g [12]. Vitamin C is
probably most famous for its scurvy prevention
[13]. In addition to that, ascorbic acid aids in
many processes including acting as cofactor for
mono- and dioxygenases, and histone
demethylases [14,15]. Vitamin C also enhances
iron absorption in the body [16].
Daily doses of ascorbic acid vary from 30 mg/day
to 250 mg/day [17]. In fruits from different
species or even within the same species, large
differences in Vitamin C levels can be observed
[18]. Considering all this, it is important to extend
the knowledge in ascorbic acid rich fruits.
Previous studies focus on the evaluation of
several species with the use of various methods
i.e. spectrophotometry, electrophoresis,
chromatography [19,20]. Still, the most
commonly used method is the oxidation-
reduction titration method [21,22]. The aim of the
current paper is to identify the ascorbic acid level
in ten commercially available fruits in order to
expand the existing database about fruits rich in
Vitamin C and to promote their daily
Vitamin C levels were established with the use of
2,6-dichlorophenoliodophenol and N-
Bromosuccinimide titration as described by Singh
and Harshal [23].
2.1 Dichlorophenoliodophenol Titration
5ml of test sample was pipetted out in a 100 ml
conical flask. 10ml of 4% oxalic acid was added
and titrated against the dye. The end point
appeared as pink color which persists for a few
minute and reading was noted.
Popova; AFSJ, 13(2): 1-6, 2019; Article no.AFSJ.52365
2.2 N-Bromosuccinimide Titration (NBS)
10 ml sample was titrated against 0.01% N-
bromosuccinimide. The amount of Vitamin C
was estimated using a standard ascorbic acid
curve made from serial dilutions (50 mg, 40 mg,
30 mg, 20 mg and 10 mg of ascorbic acid in
100cm3 of 0.5% oxalic acid solution) titrated
against 0.01% N-bromosuccinimide solution.
2.3 Fruits Selection and Evaluation
Fruits were selected based on their popularity
and availability in the autumn season at the
farmer’s market. Ten fruits were purchased
(green apple, pear, blueberry, banana, white
grapes, grapefruit, strawberry, quince, plum, and
fig) and used the same day. All fruits were
thoroughly washed and grinded for sample
preparation. Filtrate produced while grinding was
used to evaluate the Vitamin C content. The
treated samples were extracted in 0.5% oxalic
acid and volume of the filtrate was made up to
100 ml; 10 ml of the sample solution was titrated
against DCPIP and NBS.
2.4 Statistical Analysis
Data were analyzed using MS Excel software. All
assays were performed in at least three
repetitions. Results were presented as mean ±
SD (standard deviation). Fisher’s least significant
difference test at a level of P = .05 were used to
determine the significance of differences
between mean values.
Fruit evaluation started with determining some
physical characteristics of the samples (Table 1).
Characteristics i.e. weight, diameter and skin
color are very important when it comes to
purchasing fruit at the farmer’s market. Fruits are
highly prized for their unique aesthetic and
organoleptic characteristics [24]. Traditionally,
fruit quality indicators include appearance, sugar
and acid content. In the field of food technology,
product quality and its sensory evaluation are
priority criteria for the consumer. The intention to
buy is related to the attitude towards the product
as a whole. It is shaped both by external signals,
such as variety (in fruits and vegetables), and
internal, as sense gratification. When it comes to
fruits, color, shape, firmness and aroma are the
main factors that influence choice. Other
motivating factors are brand and potential
benefits to the body [25].
Plant foods, such as fruits that contain significant
amounts of bioactive phytocomponents, can
provide the desired health benefits beyond basic
nutrition, such as reducing the risk of chronic
diseases [26,27]. Ascorbic acid is a very
important vitamin for the human body since it
cannot be synthesized and has to be introduced
with food or tablets. Table 2 is a visual
presentation of the ascorbic acid levels of ten
commercially available fruits.
Both DCPIP and NBS assay resulted in
determining strawberries as the fruit with the
highest ascorbic acid levels – 55.1 ± 1.6 mg/100
g and 59.8 ± 2.2 mg/100 g respectively. From all
of the studied fruits, strawberries are the ones
with the shortest storage ability after ripening.
This may explain the currently established
highest levels. Lowest values were obtained for
fig. It has to be noted that colorful filtrates are to
some extent harder to titrate, therefore another
assay may result in different values. Other
authors [28] have documented and average level
of 24.70 mg/100 g in strawberries, which is 2.4
times lower than the current results.
Table 1. Physical characteristics of fruit samples
Weight, g
Diameter, mm
Skin color
Banana 225 44 Yellowish
Blueberry 17 11 Violet
Fig 87 52 Red-violet
Grapefruit 256 121 Dark-pink
Green apple 221 93 White
Pear 154 76 Yellowish
Plum 78 56 Dark violet
Quince 320 123 Yellowish
Strawberry 64 42 Vivid red
White grapes 43 33 Green-yellow
Popova; AFSJ, 13(2): 1-6, 2019; Article no.AFSJ.52365
Table 2. Vitamin C levels of commercially available fresh fruits determined by two titration
NBS, mg/100 g sample
Banana 7.7±0.01
Blueberry 15.4±0.04
Fig 1.1±0.05
Grapefruit 47.0±0.03
Green apple 21.3±0.02
Pear 47.2±1.5
Plum 3.2±0.01
Quince 11.4±1.9
Strawberry 55.1±1.6
White grapes 3.1±0.07
*Means followed by different letters within a column are significantly different at P = .05 according to fisher’s
LSD test
Strawberries are one of the most desirable fruits
when it comes to consumers preferences,
because of their excellent sensory
characteristics [29]. Sapei and Hwa [30] report a
relatively high content of vitamin C, which is
around 40-70 mg/100 g. These results
are commensurable the results of the current
Vitamin C levels and nutritional value in general
is influenced by growing conditions, soil profile,
meteorological conditions, and variety/cultivar of
fruit [31]. Ascorbic acid content may be lower
during storing and depending on harvesting
condition [32].
Pears and grapefruit showed rather similar
results in both DCPIP and NBS methods. Mussa
and Sharaa [33] have reported 9.27 mg/100 ml
ascorbic acid content in pears and 18.54
mg/100ml in banana using DCPIP method.
Bananas resulted in 7.7 ± 0.01 mg/100 g
(DCPIP) which is lower, compared to the
abovementioned results. Quince and apples can
be stored for a rather long period. Green apples
contained 21.3 ± 0.02 mg/100 g and quince 11.4
± 1.9 mg/100g (DCPIP). Other authors [34],
documented 21.5 mg/100 g for apples, which is
practically the same value as the currently
established values. Blueberries had ascorbic
acid levels comparable to those of quince. White
grapes and plum had rather low levels of vitamin
C 3.1 ± 0.07 mg/100g and 4.8 ± 0.02 mg/100 g
(NBS) respectively. Literature data reports
different values for white grapes established by
Derradji-Benmeziane et al. [35] 12.33 mg/100 ml
and Matei et al. [36] by 1.48 mg/100 g.
Bozhkova [37] documents 11.92 mg/100 g
vitamin C content for plum fruits of ‘Stanley’
All reported data confirms that differences occur,
but fruits can be considered sources of vitamin
In this study, ten commercially available fruits
were studied for their ascorbic acid levels. All
studies samples possessed different amounts of
ascorbic acid. Ascorbic acid levels were as
follows: strawberries > grapefruit > pear > green
apple > blueberries > quince > banana > plum >
white grapes > fig. Among all, strawberries
contained the most vitamin C 59.8 ± 2.2
mg/100 g (NBS). The least vitamin C levels were
registered in figs – 1.9 ± 0.04 mg/100 g (NBS).
Comparison between two titration methods
showed moderate differences in the results
confirming that the NBS method is more
sensitive. Modern genome technology suggests
that a future trend will be to use genome editing
to target favorable modifications in plant products
including ascorbic acid content. Further studies
may clear out different ways to retain vitamin C
levels during storage and product processing.
This research did not receive any specific grant
from funding agencies in the public, commercial,
of not-for-profit sectors.
Authors have declared that no competing
interests exist.
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Peer-review history:
The peer review history for this paper can be accessed here:
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... The vitamin C content was measured using the dichlorophenolindophenol titration as described by Popova [18]. ...
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Sorbets are healthy ice cream alternatives and desired frozen desserts by vegetarians and vegans. This study focuses on assessing the effects of sorbet recipe alteration through the addition of different percentages of Zizyphus jujuba powder. Stevia rebaudiana was used as a sugar substituent. A control sample and five variables were developed. Peaches from the “Laskava” (native Bulgarian) variety were used as the main ingredient. The new sorbet matrices were characterized based on their moisture and ash content, overrun, melting behavior, melting rate, water holding capacity, pH, nutritional data, soluble solids content, titratable acidity, vitamin C content, total phenolic content and antioxidant activity. The microbial load and CIELAB color of the sorbet alternatives was also evaluated. A sensory evaluation revealed the most preferred variant. Panelists evaluated the appearance (n = 6), aroma (n = 5), flavor (n = 5), mouthfeel (n = 7), and aftertaste (n = 5). The soluble solids content varied from 17.50 to 33.03%, the ash content from 0.36 to 5.21%, the moisture content from 63.77 to 80.21%. The studied sorbet matrices have an overrun in the range from 8.11 to 12.32%. Results showed that a potential for the development of peach sorbet matrices with added value and a reasonable consumer acceptability exists. Further research can perfect the recipe and provide a reference for other frozen desserts.
Fig (Ficus carica) is one of the most abundant fruits in the Mediterranean diet, promoting health by preventing pathophysiological conditions related to chronic diseases. Phytochemical studies on figs revealed the presence of several bioactive compounds, including polyphenols, carotenoids, vitamins, organic acids, triterpenoids, phytosterols, and fatty acids. Among the polyphenols, flavonoids (anthocyanins, flavonols, flavanols, and flavones), phenolic acids, and coumarins are present abundantly in figs. The health-promoting effects of figs are associated with these bioactive compounds that possess antioxidant, antimicrobial, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties. However, the concentration of these bioactive compounds is highly dependent on the fig variety, cultivation technique, environmental conditions, and processing parameters, among others. This chapter discussed the levels of polyphenols, carotenoids, vitamins, organic acids, triterpenoids, phytosterols, and fatty acids in figs and the parameters that influence the presence and concentrations of these compounds.
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A simple UV-spectrophotometric method for the determination of the total vitamin C (ascorbic acid + dehydroascorbic acid) in various fruits and vegetables at Koya area in Kurdistan Region is described. The spectrophotometric method involves the oxidation of ascorbic acid to dehydroascorbic acid by bromine water in presence of acetic acid. After coupling with 2,4-dinitrophenyl hydrazine at 37°C temperature for about three hours, the solution is treated with 85% H 2 SO 4 to produce a red color complex. Then, the absorbance was spectrophotometrically measured at 280 nm. The content of vitamin C was 1.868 to 51.74 mg/10g in fruits and 0.841 to 17.416 mg/10g in vegetables.The standard deviation and the possible interfering factors are also discussed.
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The food that we consume has a large impact on our environment. The impact varies significantly between different diets. The aim of this systematic review is to address the question: Which diet has the least environmental impact on our planet? A comparison of a vegan, vegetarian and omnivorous diets. This systematic review is based on 16 studies and 18 reviews. The included studies were selected by focusing directly on environmental impacts of human diets. Four electronic bibliographic databases, PubMed, Medline, Scopus and Web of Science were used to conduct a systematic literature search based on fixed inclusion and exclusion criteria. The durations of the studies ranged from 7 days to 27 years. Most were carried out in the US or Europe. Results from our review suggest that the vegan diet is the optimal diet for the environment because, out of all the compared diets, its production results in the lowest level of GHG emissions. Additionally, the reviewed studies indicate the possibility of achieving the same environmental impact as that of the vegan diet, without excluding the meat and dairy food groups, but rather, by reducing them substantially.
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Throughout evolution, a number of animals including humans have lost the ability to synthesize ascorbic acid (ascorbate, vitamin C), an essential molecule in the physiology of animals and plants. In addition to its main role as an antioxidant and cofactor in redox reactions, recent reports have shown an important role of ascorbate in the activation of epigenetic mechanisms controlling cell differentiation, dysregulation of which can lead to the development of certain types of cancer. Although fruits and vegetables constitute the main source of ascorbate in the human diet, rising its content has not been a major breeding goal, despite the large inter- and intraspecific variation in ascorbate content in fruit crops. Nowadays, there is an increasing interest to boost ascorbate content, not only to improve fruit quality but also to generate crops with elevated stress tolerance. Several attempts to increase ascorbate in fruits have achieved fairly good results but, in some cases, detrimental effects in fruit development also occur, likely due to the interaction between the biosynthesis of ascorbate and components of the cell wall. Plants synthesize ascorbate de novo mainly through the Smirnoff-Wheeler pathway, the dominant pathway in photosynthetic tissues. Two intermediates of the Smirnoff-Wheeler pathway, GDP-D-mannose and GDP-L-galactose, are also precursors of the non-cellulosic components of the plant cell wall. Therefore, a better understanding of ascorbate biosynthesis and regulation is essential for generation of improved fruits without developmental side effects. This is likely to involve a yet unknown tight regulation enabling plant growth and development, without impairing the cell redox state modulated by ascorbate pool. In certain fruits and developmental conditions, an alternative pathway from D-galacturonate might be also relevant. We here review the regulation of ascorbate synthesis, its close connection with the cell wall, as well as different strategies to increase its content in plants, with a special focus on fruits.
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Vitamin C is one of the essential vitamins for human and animal. Many methods were developed for the determination of vitamin C such as spectrophotometry, electrophoresis, titration, and high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). This study aims to compare vitamin C content of citrus fruits (orange, grapefruit, lemon, lime, kaffir lime and musk lime) using indophenol titration and HPLC-PDA methods. In the titration method, orange has the highest vitamin C content (58.30 mg/100g) followed by grapefruit (49.15 mg/100g), lemon (43.96 mg/100g), kaffir lime (37.24 mg/100g), lime (27.78 mg/100g) and musk lime (18.62 mg/100g). While, in the HPLC method orange also leads with the highest vitamin C content (43.61 mg/100g) followed by lemon (31.33 mg/100g), grapefruit (26.40 mg/100g), lime (22.36 mg/100g), kaffir lime (21.58 mg/100g) and musk lime (16.78 mg/100g). Orange is the best source of vitamin C while musk and kaffir lime have lower content. Significant differences were observed in vitamin C of samples by both methods. Both methods are suitable for the determination of vitamin C, however HPLC method is more accurate, precise and specific.
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The present research deals with the comparison of the two methods for the determination of vitamin C (ascorbic acid) content in some fruits namely apples, oranges, lemons, tangerines and grapes. The fruits were collected from local market in Baljurashi city. Vitamin C content of fresh fruit were determined by titrimetric and spectrophotometric methods using potassium permenganate as a chromogenic reagent. The absorbance is measured spectrophotometrically at 530 nm. The titrimetric method was carried out by an iodimetric back-titration. The results obtained from this study revealed that there is no significant difference between the two methods, but the spectroscophotometric method has been preferred to determine the amount of vitamin C than the titrimetric method.
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Fruits and vegetables are universally promoted as healthy. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 recommend you make one-half of your plate fruits and vegetables. also supports that one-half the plate should be fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables include a diverse group of plant foods that vary greatly in content of energy and nutrients. Additionally, fruits and vegetables supply dietary fiber, and fiber intake is linked to lower incidence of cardiovascular disease and obesity. Fruits and vegetables also supply vitamins and minerals to the diet and are sources of phytochemicals that function as antioxidants, phytoestrogens, and antiinflammatory agents and through other protective mechanisms. In this review, we describe the existing dietary guidance on intake of fruits and vegetables. We also review attempts to characterize fruits and vegetables into groups based on similar chemical structures and functions. Differences among fruits and vegetables in nutrient composition are detailed. We summarize the epidemiological and clinical studies on the health benefits of fruits and vegetables. Finally, we discuss the role of fiber in fruits and vegetables in disease prevention.
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High levels of ascorbic acid (AsA) in tomato fruits provide health benefits for humans and also play an important role in several aspects of plant life. Although AsA metabolism has been characterized in detail, the genetic mechanisms controlling AsA accumulation in tomatoes are poorly understood. The transcriptional control of AsA levels in fruits can be investigated by combining the advanced genetic and genomic resources currently available for tomato. A comparative transcriptomic analysis of fruit tissues was carried out on an introgression line containing a QTL promoting AsA accumulation in the fruit, using a parental cultivar with lower AsA levels as a reference. Introgression line IL 12-4 (S. pennellii in a S. lycopersicum background) was selected for transcriptomic analysis because it maintained differences in AsA levels compared to the parental genotypes M82 and S. pennellii over three consecutive trials. Comparative microarray analysis of IL 12-4 and M82 fruits over a 2-year period allowed 253 differentially-expressed genes to be identified, suggesting that AsA accumulation in IL 12-4 may be caused by a combination of increased metabolic flux and reduced utilization of AsA. In particular, the upregulation of a pectinesterase and two polygalacturonases suggests that AsA accumulation in IL12-4 fruit is mainly achieved by increasing flux through the L-galactonic acid pathway, which is driven by pectin degradation and may be triggered by ethylene. Based on functional annotation, gene ontology classification and hierarchical clustering, a subset of the 253 differentially-expressed transcripts was used to develop a model to explain the higher AsA content in IL 12-4 fruits in terms of metabolic flux, precursor availability, demand for antioxidants, abundance of reactive oxygen species and ethylene signaling.
This study evaluated the effect of different cooking methods including blanching, boiling, microwaving and steaming on the content of vitamins in vegetables. True retention was estimated using the yield expressed as a ratio of the weight of the cooked sample to the weight of the raw sample. The retention of vitamin C ranged from 0.0 to 91.1% for all cooked samples. Generally, higher retention of vitamin C was observed after microwaving with the lowest retention recorded after boiling. Cooked vegetables were occasionally higher contents of fat-soluble vitamins, including α-tocopherol and β-carotene, than that of their fresh counterparts, but it depends on the type of vegetables. Microwave cooking caused the greatest loss of vitamin K in crown daisy and mallow; in contrast, it caused the least loss of vitamin K in spinach and chard. Cooking may cause changes to the contents of vitamins, but it depends on vegetables and cooking processes.
Ascorbate content in plants is controlled by its synthesis from carbohydrates, recycling of the oxidized forms and degradation. Of these pathways, ascorbate degradation is the least studied and represents a lack of knowledge which could impair improvement of ascorbate content in fruits and vegetables as degradation is non-reversible and leads to a depletion of the ascorbate pool. The present study revealed the nature of degradation products using [14C]ascorbate labelling in tomato, a model plant for fleshy fruits; oxalate and threonate are accumulated in leaves, as is oxalyl threonate. Carboxypentonates coming from diketogulonate degradation were detected in relatively insoluble (cell wall-rich) leaf material. No [14C]tartaric acid was found in tomato leaves. Ascorbate degradation was stimulated by darkness, and the degradation rate was evaluated at 63% of the ascorbate pool per day, a percentage that was constant and independent of the initial ascorbate or dehydroascorbic acid concentration over periods of 24h or more. Furthermore, degradation could be partially affected by the ascorbate recycling pathway, as lines under-expressing monodehydroascorbate reductase showed a slight decrease in degradation product accumulation. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Vitamin C, including ascorbic acid and dehydroascorbic acid, is one of the most important nutritional quality factors in many horticultural crops and has many biological activities in the human body. The content of vitamin C in fruits and vegetables can be influenced by various factors such as genotypic differences, preharvest climatic conditions and cultural practices, maturity and harvesting methods, and postharvest handling procedures. The higher the intensity of light during the growing season, the greater is vitamin C content in plant tissues. Nitrogen fertilizers at high rates tend to decrease the vitamin C content in many fruits and vegetables. Vitamin C content of many crops can be increased with less frequent irrigation. Temperature management after harvest is the most important factor to maintain vitamin C of fruits and vegetables; losses are accelerated at higher temperatures and with longer storage durations. However, some chilling sensitive crops show more losses in vitamin C at lower temperatures. Conditions favorable to water loss after harvest result in a rapid loss of vitamin C especially in leafy vegetables. The retention of vitamin C is lowered by bruising, and other mechanical injuries, and by excessive trimming. Irradiation at low doses (1 kGy or lower) has no significant effects on vitamin C content of fruits and vegetables. The loss of vitamin C after harvest can be reduced by storing fruits and vegetables in reduced O2 and/or up to 10% CO2 atmospheres; higher CO2 levels can accelerate vitamin C loss. Vitamin C of produce is also subject to degradation during processing and cooking. Electromagnetic energy seems to have advantages over conventional heating by reduction of process times, energy, and water usage. Blanching reduces the vitamin C content during processing, but limits further decreases during the frozen-storage of horticultural products.