Measuring vitamin C in food – a global experiment


Welcome to the global experiment 2013 by
the Royal Society of Chemistry. In the short video, you’ll be shown how to take part by testing the levels of vitamin C in different fruits and vegetables. We’ve been careful to design the experiment so you can take part at home or in schools, as it uses non-specialised equipment. Once you’ve completed the experiment, you could enter your data on to our website, to compare with students around the world, and see the global picture. So the equipment you’ll be needing to take part in a global experiment is the fruits or vegetables to be tested, balance or kitchen scales, a grater, a chopping board and a knife, a 100 cm3 measure, a small vitamin C tablet, ideally an effervescent one of about 1000 milligrams but as long as it’s a known weight, a measuring jug up to one litre, a small measure, something like a 5 ml measuring syringe, or perhaps a teaspoon, a clear plastic disposable cup, corn flour, which is your starch solution, some warm water, perhaps from a kettle or a hot tap, tinctures of iodine, and pipettes or an eyedropper. So we have just completed the calibration step. This took 32 drops to get the colour change we require. You’ll be repeating that twice more to get an average, and then we’ll show you the calculations. So this is the calculation graphic for calibrating your solution. You will be able to calculate the mass of vitamin C per drop of iodine. You can also get this calculation from the instructions document on the website. So now we’re ready to do the experiment testing the vitamin C in different fruits and vegetables. You’ll also need to choose your experiment. There are four choices to the global experiment 2013. You can compare between different types of foods, you can test for the levels of vitamin C based on where the foods were grown, you can study the effects of aging the foods, or you can look at the effects of cooking. So that took four drops to get the colour change we require. You’ll now need to repeat that twice more to average your data, and then we’ll go over to the calculation. And finally, this is the calculation graphic for the mass of vitamin C in milligrams per gram of food. This is the number you’ll need enter into our website. You can pause the video if you need to go through the calculations slowly. You can find us online by searching global experiment 2013. Don’t forget to upload your results onto our global map, to compare your data against students around the world. So now you’ve seen how it’s done, it’s over to you to take part.

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22 thoughts on “Measuring vitamin C in food – a global experiment

  1. Hello, thanks for sharing. I am trying the analyze the vitamine C in black peppers. I just wonder if there is any extraction before analysing or just powedering the black peppers? Thanks in advance for your answer..

  2. hi, I am a little confused, where did you get the Mass of vitamin C in milligrams per gram of food = 0.37 mg/g in minute 5:13. Because there is says
    NxI=O
    so 0.36 x 0.31=0.11
    so its equal to 0.11 an not 0.37

  3. hey i have to find vitamin a and vitamin c content in few frozen vegetables and fruits can you pleasee tell me in which form i should freeze them? like okra should i freeze it in raw form??? and what about corn and peas??

  4. Hi, can I use this method to investigate the effects of oxidation on the content of vitamin C as the research question of a science paper?

  5. By any chance is there a way I can do this with processed juices? If so, how do i measure its vitamin c using this experiment instead of fruit?

  6. Hi, thanks for the helpful guide. If I used a vitamin c tablet that contains corn starch in my experiment, will that affect the results?

  7. How can vitamin C be measured without identifying it? You have no idea what vitamin C to be able to "measure" it. This was just a chemical reaction. It seems no one on the internet can identify any vitamins, yet claim they can measure them? Makes no sense lol

  8. How do we analyze or measure vitamins in supplement products like tablets or pills? To know if we really get what we pay for.

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