Ascorbic acid contents of Pakistani fruits and vegetables.Pak J Pharm Sci. 2006 Oct; 19(4):282-5.PJ
Fresh fruits and vegetables are good sources of vitamin C which is known for its antioxidant and immune-enhancing effects. The objective of this study was to determine ascorbic acid (vitamin C) contents of regularly consumed fruits and vegetables available in Pakistani markets. Most commonly used fresh fruits and vegetables were homogenized in 5% trichloroacetic acid, and ascorbic acid contents in the extracts were determined using a spectrophotometric method. Banana, custard apple, orange, lemon, guava and papaya were found to be very rich in ascorbic acid. Among vegetables, capsicum (green sweet pepper), cauliflower, bittergourd, roundgourd, beetroot, spinach, cabbage and radish contained high concentrations of ascorbic acid. Chikoo, grapes, pear, apricot, peach, carrot, cucumber, lettuce and "kakri" were found to be poor sources of ascorbic acid. Several Pakistani fruits and vegetables (pear, melon, onion, sweet green pepper, spinach, cucumber) had ascorbic acid values similar to those reported by US Department of Agriculture in these fruits and vegetables in USA. However, wide differences in vitamin C contents were also observed in certain other fruits and vegetables from these two countries. This indicates that regional varieties of fruits and vegetables could vary in their ascorbic acid contents. Since subclinical deficiency of vitamin C appears to be quite common in developing countries like Pakistan, there is a need to develop awareness among masses to consume fresh fruits and vegetables with high contents of vitamin C.