Uses of Ascorbic Acid


Ascorbic acid is known with common name of Vitamin C and an essential chemical element for humans. It is normally found in vegetables as well as fruits and the exposure of the substance to the sun turns into darker. The physical properties consist of a white or slightly yellow crystal or powder having an acidic taste.

Overview of Ascorbic Acid

The ascorbic acid mainly belongs to the family of monosaccharides and bears the chemical formula C6H8O6. It is also named vitamin C and known as the most important vitamin for plants as well as animals. The addition of this vitamin into the diet is most important, as human body is not able to synthesize this vitamin.

Figure 1: Ascorbic acid

Jü, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The other name of this acid is Vitamin C or L- ascorbic acid. The presence of this vitamin has been seen in citrus fruits, broccoli, strawberries, kiwifruit, raw bell pepper, as well as in Brussels sprouts. This organic compound is considered as an oxidant and used as a reducing agent. This is soluble in water and also found in tomatoes, potatoes, as well as leafy vegetables.

This acid is widely used in preventing as well as in treatment of common cough and cold. It is applied to the skin for protection from the pollution as well as the sun. The people, who suffer from the disease of Alzheimer's, as well as depression, also take vitamin C for curing their problems.

Applications of Ascorbic Acid

Ascorbic acid is called one of the most important vitamins and human beings need this vitamin very much. Therefore, the most common use is noticed in the field of medicine. The uses are described below −

Different Health Benefits

It is called an antioxidant and because, it helps in recovery from that damage. It helps in healing the damage by the radiation or by inhalation of tobacco smoke.

In Personal Care

Ascorbic acid acts as an antioxidant in the products of personal care as well as cosmetics such as, makeup products. This acid can observe also in the products of hair as well as skincare.

Beverages and Foods

These kinds of acid are also used in acidity regulators, preservatives, nutrition supplements, and colour fixatives in the field of beverages and food.

Animal Fodder as well as Agriculture

One of the essential applications has been seen is the field of agriculture or animals, as well as in poultry food. It is used as a supplement to nutrition in those fields.

These are the benefits as well as uses of this type of acid and also helpful for curing the problem of anaemia. The intake of this acid in the form of medicines helps in reducing the deficiency of vitamin C and help in maintaining the irregular heartbeat. Some other benefits are: it can help to get rid of common cold, reducing pain, different infections, high level of blood pressure, and as well as cholesterol.

Negative Effects of Ascorbic Acid

The absorption of ascorbic acid sometimes makes some side effects on humans and some symptoms are: hives, allergies, swelling of lips, tongue, face, throat, and as well as difficulty in breathing. Some side effects are as follows −

  • Blood in the urine.

  • Severe pain in the lower back.

  • Fever

  • Chills

  • Painful urination.

  • Frequent urge to urinate.

  • Loss of weight.

  • Pain in the stomach.

  • Joint pain

  • Feeling of tiredness.

  • Heartburn

  • Upset stomach

  • Nausea

  • Diarrhoea

  • Cramps in the stomach.

Ascorbic acid Properties

Ascorbic acid consists of different properties and these are described below −

Chemical formula of Ascorbic acid$\mathrm{C_6H_8O_6}$
Weight of the molecule176.124 g/mol
Density1.65 g/cm3
AppearanceLight yellow solid
Melting point190-192°C

Table 1: Properties of ascorbic acid


The tutorial provides about ascorbic acid with the empirical formula of $\mathrm{C_6H_8O_6}$. It is seen that when the acid remains in the dry state becomes stable. It has been seen that when the acid comes in contact of air remain stable and unreacted but, when it is dissolved into water forms solution, it oxidises quickly. The main applications of this acid are seen in the medical fields and it helps to deal with the deficiency vitamin C.


Q1. What are the uses of $\mathrm{C_6H_8O_6}$?

Ans. It is good for the bones as well as the connective tissues, vessels of blood, and for muscles. It also assists in the absorption of iron and important for red blood cell development. It is applied for treatment of deficiency of vitamin C as well as in the process of medication.

Q2. What is the nature of ascorbic acid?

Ans. This acid has a very high acidic nature and when it is consumed stomach should not be empty, it creates gastrointestinal side effects. It consists of a low level of pH and therefore, calcium ascorbate forms for reducing the adverse effect of epigastric.

Q3. What is the similarity between vitamin C and ascorbic acid?

Ans. It is seen that ascorbic acid does not act as a vitamin when it lies in the form of chemically isolated. This acid is called one of the clones of the living complex components called vitamin C. Therefore, this acid is a crystalline, fractionated vitamin C isolate.

Q4. What foods contain ascorbic acid?

Ans. Some foods are rich with ascorbic acid and these are cauliflower, broccoli, tomatoes, kiwi, yellow, and green pepper, kale, cantaloupe, papaya, sweet potatoes, orange juice, as well as strawberries.

Updated on: 14-Apr-2023


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