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The Use of Ascorbic Acid in Processing Foods
BY J. C. BAUERNFEIND
Eoflmann-La Roohe Inc., Nutley 10, New Jersey
I. His tory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 359 II.# Nutritional Value . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 361
111. Chemistry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 364 IV. Exhaustion of Oxygen in Sealed Aqueous Solutions . . . . . . . . 366 V. Oxidative Browning in Heat-Processed Foods . . . . . . . . . . 367
VI. Flavor and Nutritional Value in Juices . . . . . . . . . . . . 371 VII. Enzyme-Catalyzed Oxidation in Frozen Fruits . . . . . . . . . . 381
VIII . Synergistic Action in Edible Fats . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 388 IX. Rusting and Rancidity in Frozen Fish . . . . . . . . . . . . . 390 X. Discolorations and Rancidity in Meat Products . . . . . . . . . 392
XII. Oxidized Flavor in Beverage Products . . . . . . . . . . . . 403
XIV. Nutritional Value in Miscellaneous Products . . . . . . . . . . 407 XV. Needed Research . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 408
References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 409
XI. Oxidized Flavor in Dairy Products . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
XII I . Flour and Dough Improver . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 406
Twenty-five years ago, the chemistry, nutritional values, and food processing qualities of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) were essentially na- ture's secrets. Today pure crystalline ascorbic acid is economically produced by several companies in large volumes for medicinal and food enrichment purposes. Crystalline 1-ascorbic acid has been demonstrated to be the specific preventive of scurvy and to be of value in many of the disorders of man, some of which require relatively large doses for therapeutic effects (Abt, 1939 ; Farmer, 1944 ; Kyhos et al., 1945 ; Biclr- nell and Prescott, 1946 ; Markwell, 1947 ; Osol and Farrar , 1947 ; Ruskin, 1947 ; Fletscher and Fletscher, 1951 ; Klassen, 1951 ; Silbert, 1951). Ascorbic acid administered in massive, repeated doses intravenously or intramuscularly has a potent chemotherapeutic action in acute infectious processes and has been declared to be free from toxic or allergic reactions by McCormick (1952). Large intakes of ascorbic acid have been re-
360 J. C. BAUERNFEIND
ported to halt the development of acute poliomyelitis (Baur, 1952). The gradual decline in the incidence and case mortality rates of some infectious diseases during the past century have been attributed, in part, to an improved vitamin C intake (McCormick, 1951).
The early history of diets lacking this vitamin are crowded with ac- counts of multimasted sailing vessels carrying scurvy-ridden sailors long without proper foods. One early authentic record of scurvy on ship- board is found in the account of Vasco da Gamas voyage around the Cape of Good Hope in 1498 (Bicknell and Prescott, 1946). Early thera- peutic agents for the disease were the juice of sassafras leaves, pine- needle tea, sour lemons, and lime juice.
Citrus fruits, berries, melons, tomatoes, and green vegetables are good natural sources of ascorbic acid (Anonymous, 1945a ; Watt and Aterrill, 1950). The ascorbic acid content of fruits and vegetables varies, how- ever, with variety, climate, sunlight, maturity, and handling practices (Harding e t al., 1940; Murphy, 1942; Carroll, 1943; Holmes e t al., 1943a ; Holmes et al., 1943b ; Anonymous, 1944 ; Jones e t al., 1944 ; Pep- kowitz e t al., 1944; Anonymous, 1 9 4 5 ~ ; Harding and Fischer, 1945; Somers and Beeson, 1948 ; Paul e t al., 1949 ; Maynard, 1950 ; Zscheile, 1950 ; Miller and Schaal, 1951 ; Peterson et al., 1951 ; Strachan e t al., 1951 ; Mustard, 1952).
This vitamin is also more subject to destruction during processing and storage than most other nutritive essentials. Oser (1952) briefly summarizes the effects of processing and handling on ascorbic acid con- tent as well as on other nutritional components in a recent review for food manufacturers. The factors influencing the vitamin content of canned foods have been reviewed (Clifcorn, 1948) and are currently be- ing studied (Brenner e t al., 1948; Guerrant e t al., 1948; Anonymous, 1949d; Freed e t al., 1949 ; Monroe e t al., 1949 ; Sheft e t al., 1949 ; Feaster e t al., 1950; Lamb e t al., 1951). The behavior of ascorbic acid in proc- essing and storing frozen fruits and vegetables has also been investigated (Fenton, 1946, 1950; Cotton e t al., 1947; Ferguson and Scoular, 1949; Tressler and Pederson, 1951). Extensive information has been gathered on cooking and serving losses when foods containing ascorbic acid are prepared by various methods (Fellers, 1936 ; King and Tressler, 1940 ; Nagel and Harris, 1942 ; Heller et al., 1943 ; Jenkins, 1943 ; Oser et al., 1943; Gleim e t al., 1946; Streightoff e t al., 1946, 1949; Branion e t al., 1947, 1948 ; Sutherland e t al., 1947 ; Thomas e t al., 1947 ; Clifcorn, 1948 ; Hewston e t al., 1948; MunselI e t al., 1949; Krehl and Winters, 1950; Storvick et al., 1950; Nobel, 1951; Van Duyne e t al., 1951; Fisher and Dodds, 1952). The effect of electromagnetic radiation, a new heatless method of processing, on ascorbic acid stability and the role of added as-
USE O F ASCORBIC ACID IN PROCESSING FOODS 361
corbic acid has been observed (Proctor and Goldblith, 1948,1950 ; Brasch c t al., 1949 ; Huber, 1951 ; Proctor and OMeara, 1951 ; Proctor e t al., 1952).
Ascorbic acid was first isolated from lemons by Waugh and King (1932a,b) and from the adrenal gland by Svirbely and Szent-Gyiirgyi (1932). Synthesis of ascorbic acid followed the next year by Reichstein e t al. (1933). Large-scale synthesis was developed shortly thereafter to manufacture the first crystalline vitamin in commercial quantities (Klein, 1936; Major, 1942). Current production in the United States now approximates 10 tons of ascorbic acid per week (Cardinal, 1950).
11. NUTRITIONAL VALUE
The Food and Nutrition Board of the National Research Council (Anonymous, 1948a) recommends for optimum nutrition a daily intake of 75 mg. of ascorbic acid for adults, 100 to 150 mg. during pregnancy and lactation, and 30 to 75 mg. for children up to 12 years of age. The Food and Drug Administration (Anonymous7 1941) has set the minimum daily requirement to be 30 mg. of ascorbic acid for adults. The mini- mum requirement according to standards of the Army (Anonymous, 1949e) is 50 mg. daily. Label claims for nutritional value of foods en- riched with ascorbic acid are based on Food and Drug Administration minimum requirements. Food products containing added ascorbic acid must display simple label copy showing its addition to conform to the Food and Drug Administrations rulings, whether ascorbic acid is used in the food for retardation of deteriorative changes, for nutritive value, or for both purposes (Anonymous, 1941, 1950b).
Although scurvy is no longer a major disease, there is good evidence that moderate deficiencies of ascorbic acid impair health (Youmans, 1951). Scurvy is more prevalent in infants not receiving breast milk than has been suspected on the basis of clinically recognized cases (Follis et al., 1950; Anonymous, 1951e). Many recent nutrition sur- veys in the United States and Canada demonstrate an appreciable inci- dence of chronic ascorbic acid deficiency. Studies on the diets of children in New York State (Trulson e t al., 1949a; Young e t al., 1951), in Oregon (Storvick e t al., 1951), in Vermont (Pierce e t al., 1947 ; Brown and Pierce, 1950), in Maine (Clayton, 1951), in Florida (Anonymous, 1951 j ; Phipard, 1951), in Alabama and South Dakota (Phipard, 1951), in Louisiana (Dallyn and Moschette, 1952), in West Virginia (Chalmers and Law- less, 1952), in Iowa (Hathaway e t al., 1952), as well as in the West Pacific Coast asea (Anonymous, 1951i) have demonstrated that vitamin C intakes are frequently below the daily allowance recommended by the
362 J. C . BAUERNFEIND
National Research Council or that insufficient f rui t juices and green vegetables are consumed. A reliable intake of ascorbic acid in foodstuffs consumed by people i n the United States as well as all over the world continues to be a subject of interest and practical concern (Jolliffe e t al., 1942 ; Anonymous, 1943a ; Lockhart e t al., 1944 ; Sevringhaus, 1944 ; Koch, 1945 ; Anonymous, 1946b ; Branion and Cameron, 1948 ; Fincke e t al., 1948 ; Trulson e t al., 1949b ; Anonymous, 1950c ; King, 1950, 1951 ; Phipard, 1951).
The biochemical function of ascorbic acid is not yet clear (King, 1951 ; Bacharach, 1952), although its reversible oxidation-reduction capacity is its most striking property. P a r t of its function may be said to be that of transporting hydrogen in cellular respiration. It possesses a detoxifying function and is a factor in amino acid and carbohydrate metabolism. The ascorbic acid tissue level is an important factor in the oxidation of aromatic drugs by the body (Axelrod e t al., 1952). I n vitro studies in- dicate that the oxidation of aromatic drugs by ascorbic acid and oxygen seems to involve a n organic peroxide intermediate (Udenfriend e t al., 1952). Ascorbic acid plays a role in tyrosine metabolism by acting as a coenzyme in the oxidation of the deaminated amino acids (Sealock and Goodland, 1951).
Recent research has revealed that glucose (Horowitz e t al., 1952) or a condensation product of glucose (Nath e t al., 1952) is the origin of as- corbic acid synthesis in the body. Analogues of ascorbic acid have been studied, with little success, in an attempt to find a compound which would alter the ability of animals to synthesize their own vitamin C and hence hope to gain further knowledge on the site and