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Redoxon is the name of the first artificially synthesized ascorbic acid (Vitamin C).[1] Redoxon was first marketed to the general public in 1934[2] – the first mass-manufactured synthetic vitamin in history.[3] It is now a brand owned by German pharmaceutical company Bayer and is sold world-wide.

The product was developed by a team headed by chemist Tadeusz Reichstein, who discovered a method of synthesizing 30-40 g of vitamin C from 100 g of glucose. This used an intermediate step of creating sorbose using an ingenious bacterial fermentation method discovered by a French researcher, Gabriel Bertrand. In this method, fruit flies were attracted to a mixture of wine, vinegar, yeast bouillon, and sorbitol, a substance easily chemically prepared from glucose. Flies which fed upon sorbitol as a major food subtrate excreted bacteria which were able to synthesize sorbose from sorbitol. Using the bacteria, within a few days, it was possible to create 50 grams of sorbose using this method, and it was then easy to synthesise ascorbic acid from this.[4]

Despite concern about using the wild strain of bacteria for fermentation-production of sorbose, the process was superior to a rival method of Szent-Györgyi which isolated Vitamin C from capsicum. After sale of the Reichstein process patent to Hoffmann-La Roche, this process became the basis of the corporation's large-scale production of vitamin C.[4]

The commercial tablets are compounded from ascorbic acid and sodium bicarbonate. When these are added to water, they react to produce sodium ascorbate, water and carbon dioxide, thus producing a pleasant effervescence.[5]

In addition to Redoxon vitamin C, Redoxon Vita Immune tablets are also produced. Each one contains:

Nutrient Quantity
Vitamin C 1000 mg
Vitamin A 2333 IU
Vitamin B6 6.5 mg
Vitamin B12 9.6 ug
Vitamin D 400 IU
Vitamin E 45 mg
Folic Acid 400 ug
Zinc 10 mg
Selenium 110 ug
Copper 900 ug
Iron 5 mg


  1. ^ "About Roche Consumer Health". Roche. 19 July 2004. Retrieved 23 February 2012. 
  2. ^ "Redoxon by Hoffman la Roche, Inc.". Retrieved 2012-02-21. 
  3. ^ Tone, Andrea (2008). The Age of Anxiety: A History of America's Turbulent Affair with Tranquilizers. Basic Books. p. 119. ISBN 0786727470. 
  4. ^ a b Renneberg, Reinhard; Demain, Arnold (2008). Biotechnology for beginners. Elsevier. p. 116. ISBN 0123735815. 
  5. ^ D Cheung (2006), Inquiry-based laboratory work in chemistry (PDF)