Differences Between Citric and Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C)

Two familiar acids, found in citrus fruit, are citric acid and ascorbic acid (Vitamin C). But what are these acids and how are they different? First, consider the structure of these two food acids. Examine the Image The two acids look different, yet somehow they look similar. Each has a ring, or what almost passes as a ring, and each contains an abundance of oxygen atoms (O). There are three carboxylic acid groups –C=O(OH) are found in the citric acid molecule. On the other hand, ascorbic acid contains no carboxylic acid groups. Yet it, too, is acidic, about as acidic as vinegar. Citric acid with its carboxylic acid groups is the more acidic acid and so is more sour to the taste. But why is ascorbic acid acidic if it…
Read More

Lemon Chemistry: Flavor and Aroma Profiles

Chemistry, Food
To detect aroma, airborne chemicals must enter into our nasal passages. Volatile aromatic oils carried in when we breathe, interact with receptors located along those passages. Though flavor is somewhat influenced by our sense of smell, flavor primarily requires substance solubility in order to reach the different kinds of receptors located in various parts of the tongue. Let's explore a little lemon chemistry. Lemon Chemistry: Flavor The tongue detects four, perhaps five, flavors. They are sweet, salty, sour, and bitter. Some add savory1. There can be no doubt the primary taste of lemon is sour. Mention sour and the organic chemist thinks of organic acids. Lemons are rich in three organic acids: citric, malic, and ascorbic (AKA Vitamin C). Citric acid predominates. Suck on citric acid and you’ll think of…
Read More