Ascorbic acid also known as Vitamin C, essential for growth, healthy teeth, gums, bones, skin and blood vessels and aiding the absorption of iron, is found naturally in many fresh fruits and vegetables.
It is commercially manufactured by several different methods, however one in particular should be noted. This involves a fermentation process using the genetic material of two enzymes from different bacteria being transferred to a single bacterium - Genetic Modification.
It is used as an antioxidant in the brewing industry where it improves the shelf life of beers and prevents haze development, a preservative in the meat industry where it helps maintain colour, an improving agent in the baking industry and also for inhibiting discolouration in cut fruits, fruit pulp and juices.
In addition to its use in these areas it can also be found in butter, frozen egg products, powdered and concentrated milk, frozen croquette potatoes, tinned baby foods and wine. It can also be added to products that may lose their vitamin C in processing - such as dried potatoes.
E300 Ascorbic acid flour treating agent, "vitamin C"; may be made synthetically from glucose, naturally occurs in fruit and vegetables; added to products as diverse as cured meat, breakfast cereals, frozen fish and wine
Ascorbic acid is easily oxidized and so is used as a reductant in photographic developer solutions (among others) and as a preservative.
The L enantiomer of ascorbic acid is also known as vitamin C (the name ascorbic comes from its property of preventing and curing scurvy).
Ascorbic acid and its sodium, potassium, and calcium salts are commonly used as antioxidant food additives. These compounds are water soluble and thus can't protect fats from oxidation: for this purpose, the fat-soluble esters of ascorbic acid with long-chain fatty acids (ascorbyl palmitate or ascorbyl stearate) can be used as food antioxidants.