Vitamin C content of Emergen-C and Airborne prepared with hot and cold water
Lee, Eun Joo
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Supplementation of vitamin C (ascorbic acid) has been used for centuries to promote immune system health and to ward off various illnesses such as scurvy, and the common cold. While scurvy has become largely obsolete with increased levels of vitamin C in our foods, it is still commonplace to supplement one's dietary intake in an effort to prevent the cold virus or lessen its duration and severity. While the concept of vitamin C supplementation has hardly changed, the form it takes has evolved. For consumers wishing to prevent or lessen cold symptoms, vitamin C drink mixtures have become the method of choice over the last few decades, likely for reasons of convenience. Little attention has been focused on variables that might affect the potency of the supplement, and thus its efficacy. Due to the known heat-degradation of nutrients like vitamin C it must be known whether preparation temperature affects the concentration or not. Two brands of vitamin C drink-mix supplement were obtained and tested at the two water temperatures most likely to be used by the consumer: room-temperature (23⁰ C) and hot water (70⁰ C). An indophenol method was employed to quantify the vitamin C content after preparation per package directions, as a typical consumer would. Dye was administered to the sample by burette until a sustained pink hue had been achieved. The volume of dye necessary to facilitate this change is directly related to vitamin C content, and so this factor was of primary concern. Results indicate that there is likely no difference between hot and room-temperature preparations. Across both brands neither showed statistically significant difference, with the Airborne room-temperature and hot samples yielding a calculated 1.036 g and 1.053 g ascorbic acid content respectively. Emergen-C room-temperature and hot samples were even closer in value, at 1.057 g and 1.061 g total ascorbic acid content, a difference of just 0.004 g which is statistically insignificant.
food and nutrition
Color poster with text, illustrations, tables, and graph.