The objective of this research was to evaluate the variation of vitamin C in different commercial varieties of oranges and tangerines in Brazil and to measure the antioxidant capacity of these citrus. The analyses done for the evaluation of the maturity index of the citrus juices were pH, total soluble solids,and total tritimetric acidity. The antioxidant capacity of vitamin C was also quantified. The data obtained was submitted to statistical analysis using the Tukey test (p < 0.05). The tangerines presented lower levels of vitamin C and lower antioxidant capacity than the oranges. The vitamin C content of the the Murcot tangerine and Natal orange varied between 21.47 and 84.03 mg ascorbic acid .100 mL-1 juice, respectively. The Murcot tangerine exhibited the smallest antioxidant capacity (12.78%), and the sweet orange exhibited the largest antioxidant capacity (66.24%). The conclusion was that the different varieties of oranges and tangerines had a significant variation in the variables analyzed, and that the oranges presented the largest levels of vitamin C and the largest antioxidant capacity.
citrus; vitamin C; polyphenols; food antioxidants