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Kinetic modelling of vitamin c (ascorbic acid) degradation in tomato and pawpaw under market storage conditions

Author: 
Nwakaudu, M. S., Nkwocha, A. C., Madu, I. K., Enwereji, C. B and Ireaja, I. E.
Subject Area: 
Health Sciences
Abstract: 

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is one of the most important and popular vitamins, and is contained in most fruits and vegetables; the problem with vitamin C is its easy degradation during storage. In this study, the degradation kinetics of vitamin C was determined in tomato and pawpaw, and the market storage methods considered were: open air (ambient) storage and sack (jute bag) storage for six days. Iodometric method of analysis was employed in analyzing the concentration of vitamin C in fruit samples. The vitamin C content of the fruit samples during storage were determined daily for the duration of 6days. The rate constants were calculated for both fruits under the two storage methods using the integrated law method; half-life was also calculated. Loss of ascorbic acid in tomato and pawpaw under the two storage conditions followed the first-order kinetic model, as the coefficient of determination (R2-value) was greater than 0.95. The rate constant of ascorbic acid degradation for pawpaw stored in open air and jute bags were 0.1909day-1 and 0.1963day-1 respectively; while the rate constant for tomato stored in open air and jute bags were 0.1331day-1 and 0.1969day-1 respectively. The half-life of both fruits ranged from 3 – 6days. The most appropriate method of storage is open air because the rate constants depicted from the model equations were lower, and the half life longer, hence, slower rate of degradation.

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