Ascorbic acid

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190-192 °C, 463-465 K, 374-378 °F (decomp.)

Ascorbic acid is a sugar acid with antioxidant properties. Its appearance is white to light-yellow crystals or powder, and it is water-soluble. One form of ascorbic acid is commonly known as vitamin C. The name is derived from a- (meaning "no") and scorbutus (scurvy), the disease caused by a deficiency of vitamin C. In 1937 the Nobel Prize for chemistry was awarded to Walter Haworth for his work in determining the structure of ascorbic acid (shared with Paul Karrer, who received his award for work on vitamins), and the prize for Physiology or Medicine that year went to Albert Szent-Györgyi for his studies of the biological functions of L-ascorbic acid. At the time of its discovery in the 1920s, it was called hexuronic acid by some researchers.[2] It is an enzyme cofactor in tyrosine oxidation.[3] It creates volatile compounds when mixed with glucose and amino acids.[4]

Contents

Chemistry

Acidity

Ascorbic acid behaves as a vinylogous carboxylic acid where the electrons in the double bond, hydroxyl group lone pair, and the carbonyl double bond form a conjugated system. Because the two major resonance structures stabilize the deprotonated conjugate base of ascorbic acid, the hydroxyl group in ascorbic acid is much more acidic than typical hydroxyl groups. In other words, ascorbic acid can be considered an enol where the deprotonated form is a stabilized enolate.

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