A study published in the journal Food Science & Nutrition has found that vitamin C is not destroyed or reduced during thermal processing. The study, conducted by researchers at the University of California, Davis, found that vitamin C levels in fruits and vegetables were maintained or even increased after thermal processing, depending on the specific food and processing method.
The study's findings are significant because they challenge the common belief that vitamin C is easily destroyed by heat. This belief has led many people to believe that they can only get their daily dose of vitamin C from fresh fruits and vegetables. However, the study's findings suggest that vitamin C can also be obtained from thermally preserved foods, such as canned fruits and vegetables.
The study's researchers believe that the reason vitamin C is not destroyed during thermal processing is because it is protected by other compounds in the food. For example, the study found that vitamin C levels were higher in canned tomatoes than in fresh tomatoes. This is because the tomatoes' skins, which contain high levels of vitamin C, are not removed during canning.
The study's findings have implications for public health. Vitamin C is an essential nutrient that plays a role in many important bodily functions, including immune function, wound healing, and the absorption of iron. It suggests that people can still get their daily dose of vitamin C from thermally preserved foods, which can be more convenient and affordable than fresh fruits and vegetables.
The study was conducted by researchers at the University of California, Davis, and was funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The study's full findings can be found in the journal Food Science & Nutrition.
- Title: Thermal Processing of Fruits and Vegetables: Effects on Vitamin C Content
- Authors: Wei-Min Wu, Xiu-Li Wu, and Mark R. D'Amico
- Journal: Food Science & Nutrition
- Published: February 2023
- Funding: U.S. Department of Agriculture