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Vitamin C in Potatoes


THE vitamin C content of potatoes is known to diminish steadily during the autumn and winter, so that their contribution towards the national requirements of this vitamin is considerably diminished. The average content of vitamin C in raw potatoes, as found by different workers, has been summarized by Lampitt, Baker and Parkinson1 and is indicated by the shaded area in Fig. 1. The vitamin C content of cooked potatoes, as found by different workers2,3 is indicated in the same figure by dotted lines, and will be seen to be less than that of the raw potatoes but to show a similar decline in the latter part of the year. Certain workers4 have found that in raw potatoes stored in clamps the vitamin C content does not always fall so steeply as would be expected from the average figures. No convincing evidence has been forthcoming to show that this was due to temperature changes. The question how to diminish, and if possible prevent, this loss of vitamin C is therefore not yet satisfactorily answered.

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  1. Lampitt, L. H., Baker, L. C., and Parkinson, T. L., J. Soc. Chem. Ind., 64, 22 (1945).

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  2. Olliver, M., Chem. and Ind., 62, 146 (1943).

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  3. Thompson, J. C., Proc. Nut. Soc., 3, 147 (1944).

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  4. Lampitt, L. H., Baker, L. C., and Parkinson, T. L., J. Soc Chem. Ind., 64, 12 (1945).

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  5. Lampitt, L. H., Baker, L. C., and Parkinson, T. L., J. Soc. Chem. Ind., 65, 428 (1946).

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  6. Lampitt, L. H., private communication.

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WOKES, F., NUNN, G. Vitamin C in Potatoes. Nature 162, 900–901 (1948).

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