How to Prevent an Apple from Darkening After It's Cut

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How to Prevent an Apple from Darkening After It's Cut
How to Prevent an Apple from Darkening After It's Cut

There's nothing more irritating or disheartening than seeing a freshly cut apple turn brown in minutes. However, there are many ways to prevent this from happening, so that you can enjoy a nice clear apple anytime!


Method 1 of 2: Prevent Oxidation

Keep a Cut Apple from Turning Brown Step 1

Step 1. Use lemon juice

The apple darkens due to an enzyme in the fruit that reacts with oxygen in the air. This process is known as “oxidation”. Lemon juice prevents oxidation by containing citric acid, which is an efficient antioxidant. You can use the juice of a freshly squeezed lemon or the reconstituted juice. This method is best on sweeter apple varieties as the lemon juice will add bitterness. There are two ways to use lemon juice to keep apples from turning brown.:

  • You can apply lemon juice directly to the sliced ​​side of the apple. Scatter the juice over the cut apple pieces in a bowl and stir to cover them. Alternatively, you can use a kitchen brush to rub lemon juice into the exposed fruit. These methods will add a lemony touch to the apple flavor.
  • Lime juice can be used in place of lemon juice in this method. Files also contain the citric acid needed to prevent oxidation. Pineapple juice is another good choice.

Step 2. Use salt

Salt is a natural preservative and very effective against oxidation. To use this method, make a solution of 1/2 teaspoon of salt dissolved in a quarter of cold water. Place the cut pieces in salt water and allow them to rest for 3-5 minutes. Remove them from the water and wash them well in a colander. Apple slices should remain unoxidized for some time.

Don't worry about flavor changes in the fruit - the flavor of the apple will stay the same as long as you don't use too much salt and prevent the fruit from staying too long in the solution

Step 3. Use carbonated drinks

Carbonated drinks that contain citric acid can also be helpful in keeping apples from turning brown. Lemon-lime soda and ginger soda are two popular options that can be used to wash apples.

  • Simply place the apples, for 3-5 minutes, in a bowl containing your chosen soda. Then strain. You can wash the apples if you like, or leave them just as they are for that extra flavor!
  • Carbonated water is another option that supposedly works to keep apples from turning brown – so you might as well try it if you have it at home!

Step 4. Blanch the apples

Blanching basically deactivates the enzymes in the apple, preventing them from reacting with the oxygen in the air. To do this, simply place the apples in a pan of boiling water for approximately five minutes. Then remove them from the pan and wash them in cold water.

Know that using this method will significantly soften the texture of the apple, making life difficult for those who want to eat only the fruit. As a result, this method is best for apples that will be used in recipes

Step 5. Cover in plastic

A very simple method that can be used to prevent apples from browning is to cover the fruit with plastic. This technique works by keeping the air away from the apple, preventing it from oxidizing. Try to wrap the apple as tightly as possible, and avoid tearing the plastic.

  • This method works best with half an apple rather than several pieces. It will be much easier to wrap half a single apple.
  • Remember that the apple will start to oxidize if any air particles remain inside the plastic. Since it is very difficult to get rid of all the air, this method may not be the most efficient.

Step 6. Use the rubber band method

The rubber band method is an innovative yet easy way to prevent the apple from darkening, but it only works with cuts of fruit that have skin. This method works by not exposing the inside of the fruit to air.

  • Simply cut the apple into normal-sized pieces. Then join each piece to bring the apple back to its original shape. Put a rubber band around the apple so that it looks intact.
  • This is a great option for people who like to bring sliced ​​fruit to work or who put it in their kids' lunchboxes.

Method 2 of 2: Other Considerations

Keep a Cut Apple from Turning Brown Step 8

Step 1. Choose your apples wisely

Certain types of apples are more susceptible to browning – so if you're planning to cut your fruit, look for the species that is more resistant to color changes. Try different kinds of apples to find out which one is less dark in your area.

Step 2. Store correctly cut apples

The best way to store sliced ​​apples (after using one of the preservation methods listed above) is to place the slices of fruit in a bag and press it down to remove as much air as possible. Place bag in refrigerator until ready to eat or serve slices. They will remain fresh and crunchy.

Keep a Cut Apple from Turning Brown Step 10

Step 3. Use a clean, good quality knife

If the knife used is old, it may have been corroded by organic acids, leaving ferrous sulfate deposits on the cut fruit. These sulfates can significantly accelerate the oxidation process, causing the apple to brown much faster. That's why using a clean, high-quality knife is important to slow down the oxidation process.

Step 4. Disguise the blackout

If it's too late to save the fruit, you can try to disguise the browning by spreading some cinnamon on the sides of the cut. The cinnamon flavor will complement the fruit well. Cinnamon's reddish color can help mask the browning. Cinnamon is also an antioxidant – so spreading a little of it on the apple will keep it from further browning.

Step 5. Use the same methods for other types of fruit

These methods aren't just for apples. They can be used with any type of fruit that is susceptible to browning, including bananas, pears, peaches and avocados.


  • None of these techniques will last indefinitely. All are useful to keep the apples from browning for a few hours. For example, the methods can help you if you want to put fruit on a tray.
  • These techniques will also work with potatoes. The logic is the same.


  • Bite the apple well to avoid choking.
  • Do not eat the center of the apple.
  • If seeds are swallowed, do not induce vomiting. No need to call the doctor.
  • Be careful with knives. Don't cut yourself.

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