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Fruit juices contain more vitamin C than their labels indicate
Date:10/5/2009

A team of pharmacists from the University of Santiago de Compostela (USC) has established that the levels of vitamin C in many fruit juices and soft drinks are far higher than those indicated on their labels by the manufacturers. This finding has been possible owing to a new technique developed by the researchers to determine the content of vitamin C in these kinds of drinks.

Ascorbic acid or vitamin C is a natural antioxidant in fruits and vegetables, but the European Commission permits its use as an additive in juices, jams, dairy products and other foods. The involvement of this substance in the immune response and other biochemical processes such as the formation of collagen and the absorption of iron is well-known. However, high levels of ascorbic acid can cause diarrhoea and gastrointestinal problems, as a result of which scientists are attempting to determine the content of vitamin C in foods with greater and greater accuracy.

Now, a group of researchers from the Faculty of Pharmacy of the USC has developed a new chromatographic technique (these are used to separate and identify chemical elements) aimed at accurately measuring the ascorbic acid in fruit juices and soft drinks. By applying this method, they have found that the amounts of vitamin C stipulated on the labels of many drinks are not real. In a sample of 17 fruit juices, soft drinks and isotonic drinks, only two correspond to what is indicated on the bottle.

Ana Rodrguez Bernaldo de Quirs is a member of the team which has developed the new technique, whose details have recently been published in the Food Chemistry magazine. "The other drinks contain much higher levels than those specified by the manufacturer because, as has already been indicated in a previous study, the label probably only shows the amount of added ascorbic acid, without taking into account the fruit's natural vitamin C content", she explained to SINC.

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Contact: SINC
info@plataformasinc.es
34-914-251-820
FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology
Source:Eurekalert  

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