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Vitamin C Comparison Experiment

Integrating 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

  • Water

  • Iodine

  • 6–15 milliliter test tubes

  • Eyedropper

  • 3 different fruit juices

  • 2 fruit juices from concentrate
  1. Mix 1 tablespoon of cornstarch into enough water to make paste.

  2. To this paste, add 250 milliliters of water and boil for 5 minutes.

  3. Add 10 drops of the starch solution to 75 milliliters of water (use an eyedropper).

  4. Add enough iodine to produce a dark purple-blue color. Now your indicator solution is ready.

  5. Put 5 milliliters of indicator solution (about 1 teaspoon) in a 15-milliliter test tube (one for each sample).

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

Additional Resources

For more activities integrating science and nutrition visit the Science Made Simple Nutrition Science Projects web page External link opens in new window or tab..


If you have any questions, contact the CDE Nutrition Services Division by phone at 800-952-5609 or by email at

Questions:   Nutrition Services Division | | 800-952-5609
Last Reviewed: Friday, May 19, 2023
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