How To Preserve Vitamin C When Cooking

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “How to preserve vitamin C when cooking ?”, and discuss the different methods of preserving vitamin C when cooking and the potential implications of preserving vitamin C when cooking.

How To Preserve Vitamin C When Cooking

One can store vitamin C while cooking by using the following ideas. It is effective to use steaming and microwaving as a way to cook dishes that are rich in Vitamin C. Apart from this, one can try and serve the food without removing the cooking water wherever possible. Some of the other ways to do this are

  • To use the water of boiled potatoes. 
  • Use broccoli for preparing soup.
  • To try and mash the potatoes in the water they have been boiled in.

What can destroy Vitamin C in food while cooking?

  • Excess heat: Excess heat can destroy Vitamin C. To retain Vitamin C, it is important to prepare the dishes just before serving and to avoid storing them.
  • Freezing: The foods containing Vitamin C should not be frozen for more than 2 months because of the reason this kills the vitamin completely. Since canned fruits and vegetables do not retain much Vitamin C, it is found effective to use fresh fruits and vegetables. Also, the same goes for the fruit juices stored.
  • Storing for long: One should not store the food that contains Vitamin Whatever is the method of cooking used, as this results in the loss of the vitamin.
  • Type of pan used: One more thing to remember while cooking Vitamin C-rich food is to use any other pan apart from the cast iron one (this will react with the vitamin and destroy it).
  • Wrong cooking method: Studies show that 95% or more of Vitamin C can be lost as a result of wrong cooking, i.e. sometimes there is almost nothing left in the end.
  • Defrosting: The vitamin is also lost unbelievably fast during defrosting (but it is well-preserved in frozen products).

What to do to preserve vitamin C in food?

Time, water, and heat all are the different factors that contribute to the destruction of Vitamin C.

  • It is suggested to keep the cooking pan closed (i.e.to limit the contact with air) and also it is advisable to acidify soups, stews, and other dishes (depending on compatibility). The reason being a lot of Vitamin C  can be lost in the process of cooking especially in an alkaline medium and during contact with atmospheric oxygen. 
  • The food should be cooked with the lid closed. It is seen that when food is cooked with the lid closed the amount of vitamin C lost decreases two times compared to cooking in an open pot.
  • Try cooking without water. Methods like pan-frying, roasting, and searing does not involve water. Although dry frying the food can still lose some vitamins, it is typically less than what would lose with a method that uses water. These methods can also enhance the flavor of your food, depending on the method of cooking chosen.
  • Consider using less water. Steaming allows the heated water to gradually soften the products without removing all of the Vitamin C. Microwaving, while not seen as particularly sophisticated, can also help to retain the Vitamin C content in vegetables.
  • Another important factor in the preservation of vitamin C during cooking is the duration of cooking. For example, when cabbage is stewed for 30 minutes,  it is seen that around 35% of ascorbic acid is lost. And when the cabbage is cooked for an hour the loss can amount to 85%. When cabbage is boiled in a soup, up to 93-95% of vitamin C can be lost.
  • Coming to another very important factor during the preservation of vitamin C is the storage of ready dishes. For example, studies found that just 20% of the initial vitamin content is left in Shchi soup in 3 hours after it is cooked and in 6 hours it is just 10% of the initial vitamin content.
  • Food like stewed cabbage loses 50% of ascorbic acid in one hour. When the food is warmed up again, almost everything is lost.
  • Ascorbic acid is also destroyed in fresh salads if they are prepared a long time before eating. This happens because of the effect of antivitamins, oxygen, and sunlight. 

However, along with problems come different solutions. Thus, there is a way to preserve vitamins in food (not only vitamin C but all the others as well) almost completely. This method is found to be a very simple way to hold on to the vitamin C in the food. But it is also seen that many people struggle to implement it. 

The main idea is to eat many vegetables and fruits raw. if necessary only then the vegetables and fruits are cut, only right before putting them in your mouth. However, a raw food diet is not always beneficial. Cooking grains and some vegetables often increase their sattvicity, especially when adding a small amount of butter. But often a raw food diet does well.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question “How to preserve vitamin C when cooking?”, and discussed the different methods of preserving Vitamin C when cooking and the potential implications of preserving vitamin C when cooking. 

If you have any questions or comments please let us know.

Citations

What Methods Of Cooking Preserve Vitamin C (rocketswag.com)

How to preserve vitamin C? – combinefood.com

Does Heat Destroy Vitamin C? – LivOn Labs

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.