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Extraction and Determination of Vitamin C in Four Commonly Consumed Fruit

Extraction and Determination of Vitamin C in Four Commonly Consumed Fruit


Vitamin C is an important water soluble vitamin required for healthy and active life. The extraction and determination of Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) content of some fruits namely orange, lemon, cucumber and water melon, bought from local market were studied. The ascorbic acid content was determined by volumetric method. Vitamin C content was high in orange, pineapple, and water melon and low in cucumber. The vitamin compositions showed 9.33, 7.40, 5.73 and 3.35 mg/100g sample of oranges, pineapple, water melon and cucumber fruit respectively. Hence consumption of these fruits with high vitamin C content is highly recommended since this vitamin is very essential and plays important role in biochemical metabolism and normal function as well as healthy growth of humans and cannot be synthesized by humans.



1.1    General Introduction

Fresh fruits and fresh juices from fruits and vegetables are very good sources of valuable nutrients and completed our diet with essential mineral, vitamins, fibres, proteins and lipids; and sometimes good sources of carbohydrates.  Vitamin C is a hydro-soluble vitamin; it is very important for growth and helps in healing different wounds, keeping the gums and teeth healthy and very important in capillary fragility treatment. Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid) is the most important vitamin in fruits and vegetables. Except human and other primates, most of the phylogenetically higher animals can synthesize vitamin C (L-ascorbate). More than 90% of the vitamin C in human diets is supplied by fruits and vegetables. Vitamin C is defined as the generic term for all compounds exhibiting the biological activity of L-ascorbic acid. Ascorbic acid is the principal biologically active form but L-dehydroascorbic acid, an oxidation product, also exhibits biological activity. Vitamin C is required for the prevention of scurvy and maintenance of healthy skin, gums and blood vessels. It functions in collagen formation, absorption of inorganic iron, reduction of plasma cholesterol level, inhibition of nitrosoamine formation, enhancement of the immune system, and reaction with singlet oxygen and other free radicals. As an antioxidant, it reportedly reduces the risk of arteriosclerosis, cardiovascular diseases and some forms of cancer. Good sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits, cantaloupe, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and potatoes. Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid) is widely distributed in fresh fruits and vegetables. It is present in fruits like orange, lemons, grapefruit, watermelon, papaya, strawberries, cantaloupe, mango, pineapple, raspberries and cherries. It is also found in green leafy vegetables, tomatoes, broccoli, green and red peppers, cauliflower and cabbage(Preedyet al., 2010).

The determination of Vitamin C concentration by titration is a method that determines the vitamin C concentration in a solution by a redox titration using iodine. Vitamin C, more properly called ascorbic acid, is an essential antioxidant needed by the human body. As the iodine is added during the titration, the ascorbic acid is oxidised to dehydroascorbic acid, while the iodine is reduced to iodide ions as shown thus:

ascorbic acid + I2 → 2 I− + dehydroascorbic acid

Due to this reaction, the iodine formed is immediately reduced to iodide as long as there is any ascorbic acid present. Once all the ascorbic acid has been oxidised, the excess iodine is free to react with the starch indicator, forming the blue-black starch-iodine complex. And this is the endpoint of the titration.

1.2 Aim and Objectives of the Study

The aim of this study is the extraction and determination of vitamin C content of four commonly consumed fruits (orange, pineapple, water melon and cucmber) in Abakaliki metropolis.

The specific objects of this research are as follows:

  1. Toextract the juice from orange, pineapple, water melon and cucmber.
  2. Determination of vitamin C content of each extracted fruit
  3. To compare the vitamin C content of these fruit

1.3       Significance of the Study

Human beings cannot manufacture their own vitamin C, therefore relies on outside sources (food and supplements) to obtain it. Therefore, this study is significant to understand the fruit that gives to human the highest value of vitamin C when consumed.

1.4       Justification of the Research

The increase in the consumption of western diets and neglect of our traditional foods has precipitated a corresponding increase in ill-health due to diet related non-communicable diseases. These diseases are of various forms; cancer, kidney and liver diseases, diabetes and many more. Prevention of these diseases based on new incidences of these diseases is imperative. This is because these diseases are of increasing public health concern. Extensive studies are on-going to address these public health threats both for the cure of already existing cases and prevention of new cases. Hope is anchored on studies that will provide baseline information as to their causes and treatment. Traditional based fruits/foods are advocated because of their high content of non-nutritive dietary components that are safer and more beneficial to man. Some of these traditional fruits contain antioxidants and phytochemicals. Unhappily, in Nigeria, little attention is given to these fruits.

However, fruits and vegetables are the most affordable dietary sources of vitamins, trace elements and other bioactive compounds that offer the only practical and sustainable way to ensure that micronutrients are supplied through the diet. It is imperative to study fruits/vegetables for their nutrient potentials. The investigation of these fruits/vegetables would be of immense benefit to the society.

1.5       Scope and Limitations of the Study

The scope of this study is to evaluate the vitamin C content of four fruits (water lemon, pineapple, orange and cuccmber) commonly consumed in Abakaliki metropolis.



2.1       Background of the Study

Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid) is a naturally occurring organic compound with antioxidant properties. It is a white solid, but impure samples can appear yellowish. It dissolves well in water to give mildly acidic solutions. Ascorbic acid is one form of vitamin C. It was originally called L-hexuronic acid but when it was found to have vitamin C activity in animals (“vitamin C” being defined as a vitamin activity, not then a specific substance), the suggestion was made to rename it. The new name, ascorbic acid, is derived from a- (meaning “no”) and scorbutus (scurvy), the disease caused by a deficiency of vitamin C (Lachapelle and Drouin, 2010). Because it is derived from glucose, many animals are able to produce it, but humans require it as part of their nutrition. Other vertebrates which lack the ability to produce ascorbic acid include some primates, guinea pigs, teleost fishes, bats, and some birds, all of which require it as a dietary micronutrient in the vitamin form C (Lachapelle and Drouin, 2010).


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