Vitamins - Description, Occurrence, and Methods of Production

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Vitamins
Description, Occurrence, and Methods of Production
Vitamin
Other
Designation
Occurrence
Production Method
Starting Materials
for Extraction
Synthesis
Fermentation
Extraction
Fat Soluble:
Vitamin A
Retinoids
Animal tissue, especially liver. Carotenoids, which are precursors, found in plants.
Most is synthetic. Must be stabilized with anitoxidants
Commercially possible but not common.
Small quantities extracted
Fish oils. Solvent extraction, distillation, and purification
Vitamin D
Calciferols vitamins D1 through D4
Formed in the body
with exposure to sunlight. Present in cod liver oil or food oils exposed to UV light.
Most is synthetic
Small
quantities
extracted.
Fish oils
Vitamin E
Tocopherols, tocotrienols
Plant oils, especially wheat germ, corn, sunflower seed, rapeseed, soybean
Synthetically produced for animal and industrial purposes
Extracted from natural sources for human consumption.
Deodorizer sludges from vegetable oil production
Vitamin K
Phylloquinone, menaquinone, menadione
Higher plants, green and blue algae, liver, cheese, bacteria
Produced synthetically
N/A
Water-Soluble:
Vitamin B1
Thiamine
Whole grains, meat products, vegetables, milk, legumes, fruit
Vitamin B2
Riboflavin lactoflavine
Milk, eggs, malted barley, liver, kidney, leafy vegetables, yeast
Produced by fermentation mostly for animal feed.
Vitamin B3
Niacin, nicotinic acid, nicotinamide, Vitamin PP
Meats and fish
Vitamin B6
Pyridoxine hydrochloride
Most foods
Vitamin B12
Cobalamins
Fish, dairy products, red meats, eggs, organ meats
Produced exclusively by fermentation.
Was done in the past, but no longer economical.
Residues from production of antibiotics
Pantothenic acid
Vitamin B5
Biotin
Vitamin H, coenzyme R
Most foods, especially milk and cheese. Synthesized by microorganisms in intestines.
Most produced
synthetically
Yes—methods are improving.
Folic Acid
Folates, Vitamin Bc, Vitamin M
Green leafy vegetables, liver, kidney, mushrooms, yeast
Vitamin C
Ascorbic acid
Fresh fruits and vegetables, hip berries, fresh tea leaves
Produced synthetically from naturally occurring sugars
Fermentation methods are being developed.
Source: U.S. Food and Drug Administration