Folate Cooking and Storage

Folate Cooking and Storage

Folate is a water-soluble vitamin, and as such, needs to be handled very carefully or the high concentration that of this nutrient that the food contains in its natural state can be significantly depleted. Heat, light, and oxygen are all capable of destroying folate. For all of these reasons, cooked foods tend to have less folate than raw foods. Depending on the method of cooking, for example, boiling in large amounts of water over high heat or for a long period of time, a large percentage of the original folate content can be lost during cooking.
 
Also to the loss of folate through cooking, food processing is one of the worst offenders. Processing can reduce folate content by as much as 50 to 80%.
A high degree of acidity (pH below 4) can also destroy folate. Thus, the addition of ingredients like vinegar or lemon juice is another way that a food’s folate content can be significantly depleted.
 
Lastly, proper storage is critical to prevent large amounts of folate from disappearing. Folate containing foods and supplements should be stored in a cool, dry place, away from direct light. Prolonged storage at room temperature or wherever absorption of water from other sources is likely can cause significant folate loss. Folate supplements should not be stored in the freezer or bathroom or be exposed to bright light. Storage in the bathroom can affect the folate content in two ways, exposing the vitamin to both heat and moisture. Folate supplements should always be stored out of reach of children.