Vitamin C Indicator

Using a Vitamin C indicator is relatively simple and easy, as we'll describe ...

vitamin c indicatorVitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, can be found in natural foods like oranges, green peppers, strawberries, spinach, tomatoes, and winter squash, among others. However, you may want to know which of these natural food sources and nutrition supplements provide for the highest levels of ascorbic acid without necessarily having to submit these consumable items for laboratory testing. This is where the Vitamin C indicator comes in.

Function of the Indicator

As the name implies, the ascorbic acid indicator provides for raw information regarding the amount of the vitamin in a certain food product or produce. You will then be able to compare different types of fruits, vegetables and supplements as to their Vitamin C content, choose which one best suits your needs, and generally just have fun with it.

You may ask why look at the amount of Vitamin C when you can just eat every possible food source or just pop the capsule into your mouth and be done with your recommended amount for the day. Well, you will at least be aware of which fruit or vegetable has the highest concentration of Vitamin C and the plan your meals accordingly.

Plus, you can even prove or disprove the nutritional supplements information on the Vitamin C supplement as being higher than its competitors. Suffice it to say that you never know when the information from the Vitamin C indicator will come in handy.

Steps in Making the Indicator

To make this vitamin indicator, you will need basic laboratory equipment. You may also substitute certain equipment such as test tubes for any glass in the house. Your indicator consists of:

  • Cornstarch

  • Distilled water

  • 2 percent solution of iodine (or just plain iodine or ethanol)

  • Dropper

  • Test tubes

  • Flask

Your first step in making the Vitamin C indicator is to make the cornstarch paste by mixing a tablespoon of cornstarch with a sufficient amount of distilled water. Then, 250 ml of water will be added to the cornstarch paste and brought to a boil, which will form the starch solution.

In the flask, you will pour 75 ml of water. Add 10 drops of the abovementioned starch solution followed by the 2% solution of iodine. You will continue adding the latter until the color of the liquid is dark bluish purple - in fact, it's almost black.

To use the Vitamin C indicator, you will place 5 ml of the solution in the test tube or glass. Add a small slice of the food or a small quantity of the juice to the solution and watch the color change. The general rule is that the lighter the color of the solution, the higher the Vitamin C content of the food being tested.

You can also compare different foods like oranges and blackberry juice. Just fill several test tubes with the vitamin indicator solution, add the same amount of fruit juices and compare the colors. Or if you are testing different brands of fresh orange juice, you can record the number of indicator drops placed on the juices and then compare the results - the lesser amount of drops placed to achieve a clear color, the higher the Vitamin C content.

Indeed, you will find many uses for the Vitamin C indicator. Your child can even present it as a grade school project!

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