Forms of Ascorbic Acid

You can get ascorbic acid in several forms:

  • Pure powdered form -- seasonally available among canners' supplies in supermarkets. One level teaspoon of pure powder weighs about 3 grams or 3,000 milligrams.

  • Vitamin C tablets -- economical and available year-round in many stores. Tablets can be bought in specific milligram quantities, crushed and added together to obtain the desired quantity. For example, if one buys 500-milligram tablets: crush and dissolve six tablets to equal 3,000 milligrams.
Note: Commercially prepared mixes of ascorbic and citric acid or other ingredients such as dextrose are seasonally available among canners' supplies in supermarkets. These usually have labels that indicate they are used to prevent fruit darkening. If they are not 100 percent ascorbic acid, do not use when ascorbic acid is required for acidification (e.g., in canning tomatoes) or specified in a recipe. These mixtures should only be used for making solutions in which to hold cut foods, to prevent darkening, or when specified in a recipe. If you choose to use these products for holding solutions or in syrups for freezing fruits, follow the manufacturer's directions for quantities.

Developed at The University of Georgia, Athens, for the National Center for Home Food Preservation. Released by Elizabeth L. Andress, Ph.D., Department of Foods and Nutrition, College of Family and Consumer Sciences. January 2004.

This material is based upon work supported by the Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, under Agreement No. 00-51110-9762.

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