TCC’s Ascorbic Acid is a naturally occurring organic compound with antioxidant properties. Its chemical formula is C6H8O6. It is a white crystalline solid that dissolves well in water to give mildly acidic solutions. Ascorbic acid is a form of vitamin C. It is present in plants, especially fruits, tomatoes, and green vegetables.
As a mild reducing agent, ascorbic acid degrades upon exposure to air, converting the oxygen to water. The redox reaction is accelerated by the presence of metal ions and light. It can be oxidized by one electron to a radical state or doubly oxidized to the stable form called dehydroascorbic acid.
Because ascorbic acid is easily oxidized, it is used as a reductant in photographic developer solutions and as a preservative.
In fluorescence microscopy and related fluorescence-based techniques, ascorbic acid can be used as an antioxidant to increase fluorescent signal and chemically retard dye photo bleaching.
Ascorbic acid and its sodium, potassium, and calcium salts are commonly used as antioxidant food additives. These compounds are water-soluble and thus cannot protect fats from oxidation. For this purpose, the fat-soluble esters of ascorbic acid with long-chain fatty acids can be used as food antioxidants. Eighty percent of the world’s supply of commercially used ascorbic acid is produced in China.