According to Effects of different doses of ascorbic acid on alveograph and bread making quality of wheat flour with average quality as starting material :

the best dose of ascorbic acid that can be added for the improving average flour quality is 50-70 ppm

If I want to add 70 ppm to my flour comprising 600 grams of whole wheat flour and 100 grams of bran and wheatgerm, how many mg of ascorbic acid do I require?


I did more googling of research papers and of all three sources accessible by me, ppm is actually per flour basis. Quite a shocker to me.

Here are the links:ISSN No. (Print):0975-1130ISSN No. (Online):2249-3239TheEffect ofAscorbicAcid andGlycerol onQuality ofFrozen BarbariBread

Effects of Gliadin/Glutenin and HMW‐GS/LMW‐GS Ratio on Dough Rheological Properties and Bread‐Making Potential of Wheat Varieties

Method for producing danish dough

I have also sent an email to Georgiana Gabriela Codina for good measure, though I am not sure if she responds to public queries.

  • Yes, it's helpful to be on the inside of the paywall. Be better if the Feds just tore it down. I get annoyed when I'm asked to pay for copies of my own work. – Wayfaring Stranger Feb 13 '19 at 2:26

You're going to have water in your dough too, right? Info is hidden behind the great paywall. However, I Found the whole article here: https://www.journal-of-agroalimentary.ro/admin/articole/70859L20_Vol_XIV_2008_Codina_Georgiana.pdf You may have to switch browsers to see it. Turn off your VPN etc. PPM is usually measured as milligrams per liter. but you've got a HIGHLY nonideal mixture there. Use the paper to figure out how they're measuring volume, and add the mass of ascorbic acid appropriately. Oh, I see they don't say how they measure ppm, so are probably just looking at total dough volume in liters, and adding ascorbic acid appropriately: 50mg/L = 50 ppm. Lord knows what happens when the stuff rises. You might do best by emailng the author: Corresponding author: e-mail address: codinageorgiana@yahoo.com

This is an odd niche in science, and they probably follow conventions that those outside do not know.

Generally speaking, PPM is milligrams per liter. In this situation, I'd count both solids and liquids as part of the liter, so total dough volume.

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    You're wrong. PPM is parts per million and is usually done by weight. 1 ppm is 1 mg per liter of pure water, but the liquid could be mercury. PPM could also be be for a rock or a gas. – MaxW Feb 9 '19 at 6:04
  • That's as I said in last sentence. Rising dough will be a problem her, so they must do the addn, before letting the dough rise, and not worry about effect of rise on ppm. – Wayfaring Stranger Feb 9 '19 at 8:40
  • Your answer can be useful it depends on what the recipe said exactly. But unlikely the stuff is treated as attaining a final solution, and even in that case then refering to dough V is wrong as density can be different than unity. – Alchimista Feb 9 '19 at 10:11
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    Members in other bread and pizza forums gave ppm as that of flour as in baker's percentage. I suspected there was more to it, therefore I am glad I asked the question here, where there are right science and food technology people to help out. – Backyard Chef Feb 10 '19 at 1:17
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    The paper isn't explicit, but it reads to me like ppm by mass of flour, i.e. they conclude that 50-70mg is added per kg of flour. The flour has some moisture content already, but it doesn't sound like the mass of any added water is included. – Chris H Feb 10 '19 at 12:26

Just for the record, she replied and for what it is worth:

Dear Sir,

Ascorbic acid dosage in milling and bakery it is based on the weight of the flour.

The recommendation dosage ( medium dosage) for maturate the flour is 2g/100 kg flour (Ascorbic acid can be added in the milling or in bakery in the mixer with the yeast, water, salt, enzymes, emulsifiers, e.g.

The optimum dosage depend by the quality of the flour and by the recipe who is used : the enzymes added, the cysteine added, the technological process, the parameter of the process, etc.

To study the influence of the ascorbic acid the dosage can be for example: 1g /100 kg flour, 1.5 g/ 100 kg flour, 2 g ..., 2.5, 3, etc or 1g...2g...3g...4g....

(10ppm=0.01 g/kg= 1g/100 kg)

If you have any questions please let me know.

Best regards,

Georgiana Codina

  • Excellent. So it's applied to flour weight only. – Wayfaring Stranger Feb 12 '19 at 16:30

ppm means parts per million. To answer straightly to your question

50 to 70 mg of ascorbic acid for each one kg of the overall ingredients taken as reference, presumably those explicitly mentioned or at least discussed at that point.

Since you are not dealing with analysis you can approximate and add that amount to one kg of ingredients, as for one kg plus some mg is still one kg, at least in the kitchen.

If you use less than one kg of flour then you simply go by usual proportion. For 700 g choosing the higher dose of 70 ppm means 50 mg, for instance.

Just be sure to what ppm refers to, weight of just flour(s) or flour plus water to handle it.

This is just to clarify to a broader audience, not necessarily because of importance in the kitchen, what ppm are and how can be used.

ppm is parts per million by weight. Often it is treated as mg/l just because of working with dilute solutions in water. As for diluted water based solutions have a density very close to 1, in this case 1 ppm is indeed equal to 1 mg in 1 liter of solution. That is.

So if you would have to add ascorbic acid at mg scale to water as a base for, say, a syrup, than 1 ppm is indeed 1 mg/l.

As soon you add spoons, than ppm won't makes operatively sense and one would say 100 g for liter of water.

Finally one can refer to volumes or mixed quantities but it should be explicitly stated. Is an issue present in research as well, for instance when solutions prepared in solvent with different densities are mistakenly treated without thinking that mg/l is now different than ppm independently of concentration.

  • Somehow I am getting down voted with no explanation. There is no ppm in baking and ppm is exactly what I have explained. Perhaps further explaining confused someone that didn't take time enough for reading or can't transform mg/kg to g/100 kg etc. – Alchimista Feb 12 '19 at 13:39
  • Results that this moved from plus 30 to minus 12 for absolutely no reason. – Alchimista Feb 12 '19 at 13:51
  • I am adding a downvote now (there was only one before) because we have now proof that your answer is factually incorrect. The OP contacted the paper's author, and she confirmed that the ppm in her paper are calculated as bakers' percentage, relative to the flour weight. This is indeed counterintuitive when compared to use in other fields, but it still makes your answer incorrect, and as such it deserves to get lower in the ordering of answers. – rumtscho Feb 12 '19 at 14:17
  • It is exactly what I have said. Is weight to weight. Are you able to read my answer? @rumtscho. It is not counterintuitive! There are not other uses if things are done correctly. It is exactly what I clarify in the extension. Could you see my straight answer? 50 to 70 mg of ascorbic acid for each 1 kg of overall ingredients. Strictly 1 ppm is 1 in 1 million, not 1 in 1 million and 1! Which I have also explained. Hopefully it will be read also by people more ponderant and more quickly understanding proportion and concentration. But it is not unfair. Voting down a right answer is wrong – Alchimista Feb 12 '19 at 15:45
  • I read your answer to mean that it is weight of the ascorbic acid to weight of the dough, because you say "for each one kg of overall ingredients". That is, if somebody uses 600 g of flour and 400 g of water, that would mean using 0.5 g ascorbic acid to make 50 ppm. But we now learned that it should be weight of the acid to weight of the flour, ignoring the other ingredients, which would mean 0.3 g for 50 ppm in that example case. – rumtscho Feb 12 '19 at 15:58

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