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The Secret to Keeping Apples from Turning Brown

Keeping apples fresher for longer may sound like an impossible challenge. But, there are several simple tricks to try, so you can enjoy your apple slices just as much as when they were fresh cut. We’ve rounded up four easy methods that work for maintaining perfectly fresh apples. So, read on for tips on how to keep apples from turning brown.

The science of why apples turn brown once cut

Apples go brown because of an enzyme called polyphenol oxidase, which is activated by oxygen. This enzyme is found in the skin and flesh of apples, but the skin contains more of it than the flesh. Once exposed to oxygen, the enzyme converts phenols (which are found in plant cells) into quinones. Quinones are one part of a chain reaction that produces melanin, which causes the apple to turn brown. To prevent apple slices from turning brown, try these tips as following.


1. Keep Apples from Browning with Lemon Juice

Apples contain certain enzymes that cause them to brown when exposed to air, but lemon juice is a natural anti-oxidant that can slow this process. One common method of using lemon juice to prevent apples from turning brown is to create a water bath, by mixing 1 tablespoon of lemon juice with one cup of water. Soak the apple slices in this bath for several minutes, then rinse with cold water. This method should keep your apples from browning for several hours.


2. Keep Apples From Turning Brown In 5 Minutes With A Soda

Apples need to be sliced before soaking if you plan on having them ready in minutes. Cut apples into desired shape and size, then soak in carbonated beverage of your choice for 3 to 5 minutes. You can rinse the apples after soaking them or simply eat them as is. Some people enjoy the added flavor from their favorite carbonated drink.


3. Keep Apples From Turning Brown with Salt 

Keep apples from browning with a coating of salt. By adding a layer of salt over the apple slices, the process of oxidation will slow down considerably. Covering apples with a thin coat of salt will only prevent the tops from turning brown and adding flavor at the same time.


4. Keep Apples from Browning with Lemon Juice

Wrap up your freshly sliced apples (or any fruit) with plastic wrap to prevent them from browning. Plastic wrap is permeable, meaning air can get through the microscopic holes in the material, but oxygen needs some time to dissolve into the slices. By wrapping slices in plastic wrap, you'll keep the oxygen away while also keeping off bacteria, so your apple slices can stay fresh longer than if they were unwrapped.


5. Keep Apples from Browning with Rubber Band

The rubber band method works by keeping air from touching the apple’s flesh. Apple slices left uncovered will begin to turn brown as they come in contact with oxygen. But using a rubber band to seal slices back together creates a barrier that prevents oxygen from reaching the flesh.


What To Do With That Old Apple

If your apples have already started to brown, don't toss them in the trash yet. There are some smart ways to use up browning apples and get the most out of your produce purchases. Try these yummy recipe for the brown apple.

  1. Apple Cinnamon Toaster Strudels
  2. Apple Pie Granola Bars
  3. Baked Apples Stuffed with Oatmeal & Brown Sugar
  4. Glazed Apple Fritters
  5. Double-Crust Apple Pie
  6. Apple Zucchini Muffins
  7. Chunky Pork and Apple Stew
  8. Steel-Cut Oats with Maple-Roasted Apples and Cheddar