Testing Vitamin C: Chemistry's Clear Solution

Source Institutions

Source Institutions

Add to list Go to activity
Activity link broken? See if it's at the internet archive
In this activity on page 8 of the PDF, learners investigate vitamin C. Learners conduct a chemistry experiment to determine if Tang drink mix or orange juice contains more vitamin C. Use this activity to demonstrate how substances change color when they are mixed together. Safety notes: Do not drink any solutions or taste the vitamin C tablet! Follow the other safety notes on page 8, as well as Milli's safety tips on page 4.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$5 - $10 per student

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity


Materials List (per student)

  • 4 starch pellets (biodegradable starch "packing peanuts" available at mailing supply stores)
  • Water
  • Coffee filter
  • Tang breakfast drink (or your favorite vitamin C-fortified drink)
  • 1 Vitamin C tablet
  • Tincture of iodine solution or Betadine
  • Plastic cups (two 8-oz and six 3-oz)
  • Set of measuring spoons
  • Dropper
  • Orange juice (not fortified)
  • Measuring cup (1/2 cup)
  • Marker pen
  • Safety goggles


  • Life Sciences
    • Human Body
      • Health and Nutrition
  • Physical Sciences
    • Chemistry
      • Chemical Reactions
      • Acids and Bases
      • Solutions
    • Vibration and Waves
      • Light and Optics
    • Light and Optics
      • Sunlight and Color
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data
      • Formulating Explanations
      • Communicating Results

Informal Categories

  • Food and Cooking


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • see color
  • read
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Foreign language versions of this resource:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Department of Volunteer Support, American Chemical Society


  • All rights reserved, American Chemical Society, 2011