Ascorbic Acid: The Dispute

By: Abbie Walker on Aug 4, 2017

Ascorbic Acid, or more commonly known as Vitamin C, is naturally found in citrus fruits and many vegetables. It is considered an antioxidant.

What is its use in bread?

Ascorbic Acid is used in baking as an oxidizing agent. It helps to improve the dough’s gas retention. Other beneficial effects are:

  • Retains dough structure
  • Strengthens the gluten
  • Improves loaf volume
  • Softens crumb

Is it natural?

Ascorbic oxidase enzyme is found naturally in flour. The Ascorbic Acid reacts with the oxygen and becomes dehydroascorbic acid (DHA). DHA is also a beneficial vitamin for the human body. More about it here. 


Many dispute that Ascorbic Acid is not needed in bread and thus makes bread become more artificial. However, Ascorbic Acid is the only oxidizing agent allowed in bread in the European Union. This is because it is not harmful and is a natural dough strengthener to overall produce higher quality bread.