Apples are well-liked for their crisp texture and invigorating flavor. However, once they have been cut or sliced, they tend to turn brown due to oxidation. This browning affects not only the appearance but also the flavor of the apples. So, how to keep apples from turning brown?
Several methods can be utilized to prevent apples from turning brown. To prevent oxidation, coat the sliced surfaces with lemon juice or another citrus juice. To prevent browning, submerge segments in a mixture of water and salt. Honey or agave syrup can also be used to generate a protective coating for apples.
Let’s get to know more about the various methods that keep apples from turning brown.
Why Do Apples Turn Brown?
The discoloration of apples is a natural process known as enzymatic browning. When an apple is sliced or bruised, its enzymes react with oxygen in the air. This reaction results in the production of brown pigments known as melanins, which discolor the apple flesh.
Oxygen triggers this enzymatic reaction, and exposure to air, heat, and specific pH levels can accelerate the browning process.
How to Keep Apples from Turning Brown?
Using these methods, you can enjoy vibrant and tasty apples for a longer time. Remember that while these methods can help to prevent browning, they are not long-term remedies. For maximum freshness and appearance, prepare apples just before serving.
1. Lemon Juice or Citrus Juice
Squeeze fresh lemon juice or any citrus juice onto the cut sides of the apples. The juice’s citric acid functions as a natural antioxidant, preventing oxidation and browning.
Alternatively, make a solution with equal parts water and lemon juice and soak the apple slices in it for a few minutes before using or storing them.
2. Saltwater Solution
Prepare a saltwater solution by combining water and salt, using approximately 1/2 teaspoon of salt per cup of water. Remove the apple slices from the solution after a few minutes and pat them dry. The saltwater aids in the inhibition of the enzymatic browning process.
3. Vinegar Solution
Combine one part white vinegar and three parts water to make a solution. Soak the apple slices for a few minutes in this solution, then rinse and pat dry. If you don’t have lemon or citrus juice, the acid in vinegar prevents browning and can be an acceptable substitute.
4. Honey or Agave Syrup
Lightly cover the apple slices in honey or agave syrup. Natural antioxidants in honey and agave syrup can help delay the browning process.
5. Commercial Fruit Stabilizers
Stores sell specialist fruit-preserving products such as ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and commercial fruit stabilizers. Follow the packaging directions to treat the apple slices and keep their color and freshness.
6. Airtight Storage
Once the apple slices have been processed, store them in an airtight container or securely wrapped in plastic wrap. This reduces air exposure and slows the oxidation process, preventing the apples from turning brown.
How To Keep Apples From Turning Brown Using Sprite?
Follow these steps to use Sprite or a similar carbonated lemon-lime beverage to keep apples from turning brown:
- Fill a bowl or container halfway with Sprite, making sure the apple slices are well submerged.
- Cut the apples into slices or wedges and immediately toss them into the Sprite.
- Allow the apple slices to soak in the Sprite for a few minutes, making sure they are completely submerged.
- Take the apple slices out of the Sprite and carefully blot them dry with a paper towel.
- Serve the apple slices immediately or refrigerate them in an airtight container until ready to use.
Sprite’s citric acid, paired with the carbonation, can help slow down the oxidation process and delay apple browning. However, the results may not be as long-lasting as other treatments like lemon juice or commercial fruit stabilizers.
How To Store Cut Apples In Fridge?
To store apple slices in the refrigerator, follow these steps:
- Remove the seeds and core before slicing or dicing the apples to your liking.
- Place the apple slices in a hermetic container or a plastic bag with a zipper.
- Apply fresh lemon juice to the apple slices. The lemon juice will prevent discoloration.
- The container or bag should be securely sealed to prevent air exposure.
- Date the container or bag to maintain track of the product’s freshness.
- Place the container or bag in the primary compartment of the refrigerator, away from strong-smelling foods.
- Keep the fruits refrigerated between 32 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit (0 and 4 degrees Celsius).
- Utilize the fruits within three to five days for optimal quality and flavor.
How Long Does Lemon Juice Keep Apples From Browning?
On average, lemon juice can delay the browning of apples by one to two hours. The protective effect diminishes after this time, and the apple slices may begin to darken. To optimize effectiveness, it is recommended to apply lemon juice immediately after slicing apples and to refrigerate them until they are ready to be served.
However, the duration of protection can vary depending on factors such as the freshness of the lemon juice, the quantity applied, and the variety of apples.
Are Brown Apples Safe To Eat?
Brown apples may not appear as appealing, but they are generally secure to consume. Enzymatic reactions in the fruit cause browning and do not necessarily indicate rotting or the presence of harmful microorganisms. However, the texture and flavor of the apple may be altered due to the browning, which can result in a milder apple with a slightly altered flavor.
If the apple is only faintly discolored, you can still eat it by removing the discolored portions. If the apple is excessively brown or has an unpleasant odor or flavor, it is best to abandon it. Fresh, crisp apples are always recommended for the finest eating experience.
This was all about how to keep apples from turning brown. You can effectively prevent apples from turning brown by using techniques such as lemon juice, salt water soaking, and hermetic storage. These straightforward techniques help apples retain their freshness, flavor, and appearance, making them more appetizing and suitable for a variety of dishes and snacks.
Thank you for reading!