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“What is the effect of cooking time on the Vitamin C content in cabbages?”
Posted by Admin on 16-03-2014 at 12:48 pm Under Chemistry Cafe

Vitamin C, which is also known as ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin needed by the human body. It has a chemical structure of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. Pure ascorbic acid (vitamin C) appears white in color. However, when it is impure, its color changes into a slightly yellowish color. Moreover, when it dissolves in water, it turns the water mildly acidic. Many animals can manufacture vitamin C in their bodies. Humans, however cannot, therefore we must obtain it from external sources. Vitamin C is a fundamental element of collagen, which is the structural substance for bones, skin and other tissues. [1] Also in the human body, sometimes during respiration oxygen is not fully reduced. Thus, it forms a superoxide ion. Generally, there is an enzyme that can solve this problem by changing the superoxide ion into H2O2 and O2. However, in the existence of Fe2+, the hydrogen peroxide may be converted into a highly reactive hydroxyl radical. This radical can start unwanted reactions in the cells when it removes a hydrogen atom from an organic compound to form H2O and another, possibly more reactive free radical. In order to stop this from happening, Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is needed, as it can give a hydrogen atom to the free radical, which would then stop the reactions from occurring. This vitamin is normally found in fruits and vegetables such as in oranges, lemon, cabbages, Brussels and many more. Vitamin C is normally found in the watery part of the food, and hence it can be lost while cooking in water. [2] It was realized in the 1920’s that some cuts of meat and fish are also a source of Vitamin C for humans.[3]

            In addition, Vitamin C has the chemical formula C6H8O6 and a molecular mass of 176.14 grams per mole (gmol-1) [4]

                         

                                                  

Amounts of vitamin C in different foods vary. However, the amount of vitamin C in foods of plant origin depends on: the precise variety of the plant, the condition of the soil, the type of weather in which it grew, the length of time since it was picked, the storage condition and the method of preparation.[5] Cooking specifically destroys the level of vitamin C. My research question as you can see from the title is “What is the effect of cooking time on the Vitamin C content in cabbages?” and so will particularly be talking about the last mentioned point i.e. the cooking time of cabbage and how it affects the Vitamin C content. The cooking process I have picked is the boiling of cabbage. Cooking not only destroys the Vitamin C in fruits and vegetables, it also does so in the meat and fish, which are sources of vitamin C.

            Vitamin C is consumed for a variety of reasons: It is effective in treating Vitamin C deficiency, symptoms of the common cold, acne, gum disease and infections of the skin and bladder.

HYPOTHESIS:

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As the cooking time of cabbage increases (i.e. the more the cabbage is boiled), the greater will be the amount of Vitamin C lost. Therefore, as you increase the cooking time of cabbage, the amount of vitamin C in the food will diminish.

 

[1]“EatingWell.”eatingwell.com. Meredith Corporation., n.d. Web. 5 Nov. 2012. 

[2]“EatingWell.”eatingwell.com. Meredith Corporation., n.d. Web. 5 Nov. 2012.

[3] “The Vitamin C molecule.”worldofmolecules.com.N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Nov. 2012.

[4] “The Vitamin C molecule.”worldofmolecules.com.N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Nov. 2012.

[5] “The Vitamin C molecule.”worldofmolecules.com.N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Nov. 2012.

SHAISTA MEGHJI

 
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