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Timed-Release Vitamin C Tablets By slowly releasing a vitamin or a medicine throughout the day, timed-release tablets offer a simple alternative to multiple doses. There are several different methods used to achieve the timed-release effect. One common method involves covering the medicine with a polymer coating that allows it to slowly permeate into the body. Figure 1 OBJECTIVES • Compare the behavior of timed-release vitamin C tablets with regular vitamin C tablets when each is added to distilled water. • Use a pH Sensor to monitor the pH value of the two different types of vitamin C tablets over an elapsed time of approximately twelve minutes. MATERIALS one 500 mg timed-release vitamin C tablet 100 mL graduated cylinder one 500 mg regular vitamin C tablet pH meter distilled water magnetic stirrer wash bottle stirring bar ring stand 400 mL beaker utility clamp PROCEDURE 1. Obtain and wear goggles. 2. Measure out 250 mL of distilled water into a clean, dry 400 mL beaker. 3. Place the beaker onto a magnetic stirrer and add a small stirring bar. 4. Prepare pH meter to determine the pH of solution at given time period. 5. Record the pH of the solution at 0, 4, 8, 12 minutes in the data table. DATA TABLE Time (min) pH of timed-release vitamin C pH of regular vitamin C 0 6.51 6.51 4 5.96 4.96 8 5.45 3.26 12 4.87 2.54 PROCESSING THE DATA 1. Using the pH values in the data table, compare the change in pH during these three time intervals: 0–4 minutes, 4–8 minutes, and 8–12 minutes. Which vitamin-C tablet had the largest decrease in pH during each of these intervals? Explain. 2. Would you expect one 1000 mg vitamin C tablet or two 500 mg tablets to take more time to release the vitamin C (assume both are regular tablets)? Explain. 3. What are some factors that could cause the results of this experiment to differ from what actually occurs when these tablets dissolve in your stomach?

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