Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Differences Between Ascorbic Acid and Citric Acid

Ascorbic Acid vs Citric Acid

While you might think that ascorbic acid and citric acid are similar, this will burst your bubble: they are two very different things. There are also certain similarities, which is exactly why this article is going to point out such similarities as well as the bigger number of differences. People naturally assume that Vitamin C is all about ascorbic acid and, in turn, would imagine that since Vitamin C is usually derived and obtained from citrus fruits, it is also all about citric acid. The main thing that should be understood is that citrus fruits can offer both ascorbic acid and citric acid, except that Vitamin C can only be from ascorbic acid.

Here is another scenario: a lemon is squeezed, and you now have your daily dose of Vitamin C. Right? Let’s find out the answer to that.

What is Ascorbic Acid?

Ascorbic acid, otherwise known as Vitamin C, is found in citrus fruits. Examples of these citrus fruits include oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruits, guava, kiwi, tangerines, nectarines, to name few. To be more precise, though, the fruits with the highest dose of Vitamin C would be guava, guyabano but not oranges, as are known to many.
It is considered a very good preservative. It keeps fruits and vegetables from turning brown.
It is one of the best aids in baking bread because it promotes the growth of yeast.
Health-wise, ascorbic acid is great in treating scurvy. Scurvy is caused because of one’s lack of Vitamin C.

What is Citric Acid?

Citric acid, on the other hand, is a natural component of citrus fruits, some fruits, and a few vegetables. It is synthetically produced from sugar. It is man-made.
It is used to improve the taste of certain products like soda and fruit-flavored candies. To some ice creams it is also added so fat globules will not coagulate.
It is considered a good additive.
It has a tart and tangy taste.
Health-wise, citric acid is said to boost energy. It is also known to help in one’s metabolism. As a fringe benefit, citric acid help in breaking down kidney stones and preventing new ones from forming and developing.

Summary:

Ascorbic acid is found in citrus fruits as well as citric acid, but citric acid does not contain Vitamin C.
Ascorbic acid is natural, citric acid is man-made, hence, synthetic.
Ascorbic acid is a great preservative.
Citric acid is a great additive.
Citric acid constitutes the tangy taste of certain food.

In summary, while there is very minimal difference in the chemical composition of both ascorbic acid and citric acid, that is, an additional oxygen atom in citric acid, the difference is so much more. There have been many discussions between the differences and similarities of both components.

What is certain though is its importance, not only to our body and health, but its benefits to cooking and in our daily lives. We certainly need Vitamin C in our day to day activities, whether young or old. In this way, ascorbic acid is quite a necessity; hence, we take our daily dose of Vitamin C.

In terms of citric acid, coming from the term ‘citrus’, we automatically assume that citric acid is equivalent to ascorbic acid because we naturally assume that we get a little dose of Vitamin C from citrus fruits. This is actually correct, but only to some extent. Knowing now that there are, indeed, several differences between ascorbic acid and citric acid will make it easier for you to make the distinction health-wise and food-wise.

Now, when you purchase certain food products at the grocery store, you definitely know what to look for as you peruse the list of ingredients.


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6 Comments

  1. Why are you stating that ascorbic acid is a natural vitamin c?
    Ascorbic acid is a lab made synthetic copy of the natural organic vit c compound which was made to replace the vitamin c lost in ALL fruit juices when extreme heating from pasterising takes place.

    Claims by companies that they squeeze so many apples and thuis many strawberries along with all these other fruits which results in highly healthy vitamin rich drink are LYING, the labels state they pasturise the juice!! heat will and does obliterate all goodness and vitamins from any pasterised product leaving the end result empty of all nutrition…..UNTIL they pump it full of synthetic copies, fake vitamins and minerals including ascorbic acid.

    take alook at
    http://www.ascorbicacid.net/
    if you would like the truth about vit c and ascorbic.

    this site now becomes void to me as i do not trust sources of info…if this one can be so wrong then how many more?!!

  2. hey dummy,

    you got it backwards, ascorbic is man-made

  3. Let’s not be calling names (“dummy”).
    We are all here to SHARE. The internet is becoming too hateful already. We can help each other if we can accept the fact that nobody is perfect & we ALL even want to be immoral sometimes. Let’s strive to accept our human trates & help each other face truth so we can come closer to gaining factual knowledge.

  4. “It is one of the best aids for baking bread because it promotes the growth of yeast”

    It’s actual baking application is as a “dough strengthener” and is now only commonly used in larger, industrial bakeries

  5. Vitamin C is ascorbic acid
    Ascorbic acid is vitamin C

    It took a while for me to understand that ascorbic acid is REAL vitamin C

    We all should use at least 2000 mg a day

    Search for Dr Thomas Levy on Vitamin C and learn!!!

    In the last 80 years Ascorbic acid has been used for the treathment and cure for countless of deseases with GREAT RESULTS including:
    Polio virus
    Cancer
    Aids
    Hepatitis
    Tuberculose

    Ascorbic acid cures 90% of all deseases.

    There is yet to be found 1 virus or toxic substance that it doesnt destroy!!!

    Ascorbic acid is the most safest compound on earth, and has no toxic level.
    Even pure water can be toxic after drinking too much!!

    Ascorbic acid in very large doses like 50.000 mg or more ,has even been used to successfully threat ALL kinds of venom including:
    snake venom
    Black widow
    Deadly mushroom

    Ascorbic acid is the cheapest and the best cure of almost all deseases and there is a major cover up!!

  6. RE: F Demirbuken ) I’m willing to forgive the many atrocious spelling errors you’ve made but the tin-foil hat pseudoscience is simply unforgivable!
    Ascorbic Acid IS Vitamin C, and NO – it’s not going to TREAT nor CURE :
    Polio — which was a debilitating scourge until the vaccine stopped it in its tracks and nearly eradicated it. Vitamin C is lauded by woo pushers & modern day snake oil salesmen, but there’s not even a plausible mechanism of action to suggest this vitamin can repair the cell mutations or other conditions that cause the abnormal cell accumulation/proliferation that we refer to as cancer; it’s been studied to death by multiple teams around the world – including super-high doses to no avail.
    AIDS was a death sentence & early on killed most within 5-10 years of being diagnosed as HIV positive. A cocktail of antiRVs is what changed that.
    Hepatitis is certainly not curable by Vitamin C… And neither is TB (that’s Tuberculosis)

    It sound like you’ve been reading “Claus W. Jungeblut myths”… The guy killed a few bacteria & inactivated some virii IN A PETRI DISH, and then conflated that to mean that the same would be true in a HUMAN BEING! This LEAP is laughable to anyone that follows (or works in) science. Killing viruses, bacteria or even cancer cells in a petri dish is literally CHILD’S PLAY. Expose them to various extremes, i.e. heat, cold, high acidity, high alkalinity, or high concentration of organic molecules and “amazingly” they stop replicating and die off….

    If I had a dime for every petri dish study that wasn’t applicable to lab rats, much less humans, I would be VERY well off!

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