Vitamin C Comparison ExperimentIntegrating science and nutrition education can support nutrition competencies, mathematics, and science skills. This page provides a simple nutrition science experiment and additional resources.
The Vitamin C Experiment is a simple experiment for school age children that integrates science and nutrition education using fruit juice, iodine and corn starch. This experiment can support nutrition competencies, mathematics, and science skills.
- Originator of Resources: California Department of Education (CDE)
- User of Resource: School, afterschool, or child care staff (i.e. child nutrition staff, school wellness coordinators, teachers, afterschool program providers, family day care home providers), parents, and volunteers
- Audience: School age children
- Cost: Free
- Date updated: March 2019
Vitamin C Comparison Experiment
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 6–15 milliliter test tubes
- 3 different fruit juices
- 2 fruit juices from concentrate
- Mix 1 tablespoon of cornstarch into enough water to make paste.
- To this paste, add 250 milliliters of water and boil for 5 minutes.
- Add 10 drops of the starch solution to 75 milliliters of water (use an eyedropper).
- Add enough iodine to produce a dark purple-blue color. Now your indicator solution is ready.
- Put 5 milliliters of indicator solution (about 1 teaspoon) in a 15-milliliter test tube (one for each sample).
- To the test tube, use a clean eyedropper to add 10 drops of juice from the fruit or beverage (for solids, pulp them in a blender and strain the juice). Reclean the eyedropper for each sample.
- Hold the test tube against a white background. Line up the tubes from lightest to darkest purple. The lighter the solution, the higher the vitamin C content. That is because vitamin C causes the purple indicator solution to lose its color.
For more activities integrating science and nutrition visit the Science Made Simple Nutrition Science Projects web page .
If you have any questions, contact the CDE Nutrition Services Division by phone at 800-952-5609 or by email at NutritionEducation@cde.ca.gov.