Ascobic acid

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Application of Ascobic acid

Food chemistry

Ascorbic acid and its sodium, potassium, and calcium salts are commonly used as antioxidant food additives. These compounds are water-soluble and, thus, cannot protect fats from oxidation: For this purpose, the fat-soluble esters of ascorbic acid with long-chain fatty acids (ascorbyl palmitate or ascorbyl stearate) can be used as food antioxidants. Eighty percent of the world's supply of ascorbic acid is produced in China.

The relevant European food additive E numbers are:

  1. E300 ascorbic acid (approved for use as a food additive in the EU USA and Australia and New Zealand)
  2. E301 sodium ascorbate (approved for use as a food additive in the EU USA and Australia and New Zealand)
  3. E302 calcium ascorbate (approved for use as a food additive in the EU USA and Australia and New Zealand)
  4. E303 potassium ascorbate
  5. E304 fatty acid esters of ascorbic acid (i) ascorbyl palmitate (ii) ascorbyl stearate.

It creates volatile compounds when mixed with glucose and amino acids in 90 °C.

It is a cofactor in tyrosine oxidation.

Niche, non-food uses

  • Ascorbic acid is easily oxidized and so is used as a reductant in photographic developer solutions (among others) and as a preservative.
  • In fluorescence microscopy and related fluorescence-based techniques, ascorbic acid can be used as an antioxidant to increase fluorescent signal and chemically retard dye photobleaching.
  • It is also commonly used to remove dissolved metal stains, such as iron, from fiberglass swimming pool surfaces.
  • In plastic manufacturing, ascorbic acid can be used to assemble molecular chains more quickly and with less waste than traditional synthesis methods.
  • Heroin users are known to use ascorbic acid as a means to convert heroin base to a water-soluble salt so that it can be injected.
  • As justified by its reaction with iodine, it is used to negate the effects of iodine tablets in water purification. It reacts with the sterilized water, removing the taste, color, and smell of the iodine. This is why it is often sold as a second set of tablets in most sporting goods stores as Portable Aqua-Neutralizing Tablets, along with the potassium iodide tablets.
  • Intravenous high-dose ascorbate is being used as a chemotherapeutic and biological response modifying agent. Currently it is still under clinical trials.

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