The effect of wild orange essential oil on ascorbic acid decay in freshly squeezed orange juice
(1) Sacred Heart of Jesus School, Boulder, Colorado
Ascorbic acid, also known as Vitamin C, is an essential nutrient for human beings as those are deficient develop scurvy. Ascorbic acid, by nature, is not stable. Once the orange is peeled it is exposed to atmospheric oxygen, oxidation, which deactivates ascorbic acid, occurs. Due to being high in limonene, wild orange essential oil (EO) has purifying and cleansing properties that can be a natural food preservative. The goal of this project was to see if the addition of wild orange EO to freshly squeezed orange juice would help to slow down the decay of ascorbic acid when exposed to various temperatures, allowing vital nutrients to be maintained and providing a natural alternative to the chemical additives in use in industry today. We hypothesized that the addition of wild orange EO to freshly squeezed orange juice would slow down the rate of oxidation when exposed to various temperatures, reducing ascorbic acid decay. An iodine redox titration was used to measure ascorbic acid across four different wild orange EO volumes and four different temperatures. Data was collected and used to compare experimental samples to controls. On average, wild orange EO slowed down ascorbic acid decay in freshly squeezed orange juice by 15% at the three highest temperatures tested.