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Information at a Glance

  • Vitamin C is a nutrient required in very small amounts to allow a range of essential metabolic reactions in the body. Vitamin C is principally known as a water-soluble anti-oxidant and has been found to prevent scurvy. It is also known by the chemical name of its principal form, L-ascorbic acid or simply ascorbic acid.
  • The dietary substances which causes scurvy when missing and cures scurvy when present is by definition vitamin C. Vitamin C (chemical names: ascorbic acid and ascorbate) is a six-carbon lactone which is synthesized from glucose by many animals. Vitamin C is synthesized in the liver in some mammals and in the kidney in birds and reptiles.


  • Vitamin C has been produced commercially by extraction from plants, by chemical synthesis, by fermentation and by mixed fermentation / chemical synthesis methods. (Fermentation is a chemical reaction in which a micro-organism or enzyme causes an organic compound to split into simpler substances.). This process involves the production first, by fermentation, of 2-KGA (keto-gluconic acid) from sorbitol. In the second step of the reaction the 2KGA is then processed chemically to produce ascorbic acid (vitamin C).
  • Storage of Vitamin C experiments clearly indicated that the purified preparations can be held for a period of 2 or 3 weeks without serious loss of antiscorbutic value when properly protected from oxidation during laboratory manipulation and subsequent storage. Vit-C concentrations in plasma were measured using HPLC and an electrochemical detector according to a modified method.

Application & Technology

  • Immunodepression caused by a stressor can be compensated by an increased intake of vitamin C before a predictable stress event such as grading. Vitamin C plays a significant role in the immune response and resistance to infectious diseases of fish, probably through its antioxidant properties.
  • The species that cannot synthesise vitamin C absorb ascorbic acid by an active transport mechanism which is Na+-dependent. This active uptake of vitamin C seems to be very important at low doses while at high doses, uptake by passive diffusion also occurs. The effect of fermentation by microorganisms on the stability of vitamin C, it is essential to show the effect of oxygen on the stability of this vitamin when its solutions are kept in test-tubes plugged with cotton.
  • A proprietary technology has been developed for the conversion of L-sorbose to L-ascorbic acid using a single-step fermentation process. In India also research is on to develop alternative technology for production of vitamin C and the CSIR lab, RRL Jammu has developed a technology to produce D Ascorbic Acid from glucose using fermentation process.


  • The high concentration of vitamin C in baobab fruit, given the widespread distribution of the tree in semi-arid parts of Africa, offers exciting opportunities for more research and for immediate action in public health. Europeans in the higher age group are becoming more conscious of their well-being and appearance. This trend has promoted the growth of cosmetic formulations rich in vitamins A, C and E, which have been associated with anti-wrinkling and skin firming benefits.
  • It Contains the European market for vitamins A, C and E with end-user applications in feed, foods and beverages, dietary supplements and cosmetics. The forecasts include total market forecasts, segment forecasts and trend analysis with base year figures for end-user application within each segment. In addition to forecasts, key trends impacting each market segment have been identified.

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