How do you keep apples from turning brown? Well, as you know, apples are one of the popular fruits in the fruit food group. You have probably eaten a few apples and noticed how apples turn brown after you cut them. It takes just a few minutes and you have mushy, tasteless browning apples. Let us first explain why this phenomena happens before we let you in on different ways to keep apples from turning brown.
The inner part of the apple turns brown when it is exposed to air (a water-oxygen combination). The browning of the apple is called the oxidation of apples or the enzymatic browning of apples. An apple can also turn brown when it is exposed to mold, fungi and bacteria. Basically, when apples are damaged (i.e. hit, punctured, bruised, shuffled, etc.) phenols (chemical compounds) and enzymes are released. These chemicals start the process of oxidation or the change of the appearance, texture and taste of the apples.
This process is often referred to as “rotting” or “deterioration.” The most effective way to keep apples from turning brown is to make sure they are in a cold climate (i.e. a refrigerator). When apples are placed in cool environments, the oxidation process is delayed, but when they are placed in warm or hot climates the apples “deteriorate” or brown more quickly. Moreover, if possible use or consume your apples within two weeks. Old apples are more prone to damage and browning. Thankfully, there are several ways you can keep your apples white, fresh and delicious. Let’s take a look at a few ways you can prevent apples from browning.
1. Cool or Cold Environment
Keeping sliced apples fresh, crisp, white and tasty can be challenging, especially if you are away from home. You can prevent or delay the oxidation of apples, if you place them in a cool environment (i.e. a refrigerator, freezer or a cooler). As mentioned previously, apples that are placed in warm or hot climates will turn brown at a quicker rate than those placed in cooler climates.
If you want to stop apples from browning, you will probably want to soak them in a bowl of cool or ice cold water. In fact, you can preserve your sliced, peeled or chopped apples longer if you place them in the cool water immediately after cutting them. You will want to soak your apples for approximately 15 to 30 minutes.
3. Lemon Juice
Yes, you can stop apples from turning brown by immersing them in lemon juice. The ascorbic/citric acid in lemons can actually slow down the oxidation process and prevent or delay the browning of apples. Before you slice, chop or peel apples; place a cup of lemon juice and a cup of water in a plastic container or mixing bowl. Place your apple pieces in the juice-water mixture and let them soak for approximately 15 minutes. Drain the juice, rinse the apples and place them in an air-tight plastic bag. If possible, refrigerate the apples until you are ready to eat them.
You can keep sliced apples from turning brown by mixing them with other fruits and fruit juices. Certain acidic fruits like: oranges, pineapples and kiwi can help keep your apple slices fresh, white and delicious. If you are worried about your unrefrigerated apples turning brown, coat your slices with pineapple and/or orange juice or mix them with kiwi, oranges and pineapples.
Now, let’s find out how to keep apples from browning with vinegar. It’s the acid in vinegar that can stop apples from turning brown. Vinegar has an alkaline effect, which can prevent or delay oxidation of the browning of apples. If you decide to use vinegar to preserve your apples – be wary. The strong flavor of vinegar can distort the taste of your apples. Lightly spritz your apples to keep them from browning too quickly. Rinse the apples and place them in an air-tight plastic bag.
6. Salt & Water
You can also prevent apples from browning by placing them in a bowl of salt and water. Use only a teaspoon of salt or your apple slices will come out tasting too salty. The salt in the water will act as a natural preservative, which will prevent premature browning of your apples. Soak your apples in this mixture for approximately 5 to 10 minutes, drain the water, rinse the apples and place them in an air-tight plastic bag.
7. Vitamin C Tablets
I bet you did not know that vitamin C tablets are not only beneficial for your health; they are also good for stopping your apples from turning brown. Crushed vitamin C tablets contain high levels of citric acid, which can prevent or delay oxidation of apples and enzymatic browning of apples. Prevent your apples from turning brown by combining two or three cups of water with two or three crushed vitamin C tablets. Let the apples soak in this mixture for approximately 10-15 minutes, drain the water, rinse the apples and place them in an air-tight plastic bag.