How to keep apple from browning: We all know how delightful it is to bite into a fresh, crisp apple, but there’s nothing more disappointing than slicing one open only to see it turn brown within minutes.

I’m excited to share with you some tried-and-true tips and tricks that I personally use to keep my apples looking fresh and appetizing even after cutting. Let’s dive in!

How to keep apples from browning
How to keep apples from browning

Why does an apple turn brown after cutting?

Apples are a popular fruit, but their tendency to brown can be a real downer. Browning occurs due to a natural process called oxidation, where enzymes in the apple react with oxygen in the air, causing discoloration. But don’t worry, I’ve got you covered with a few tried and tested methods to prevent browning and keep your apples looking fresh.

Apples can float because they’re made up of 25% air.

Selecting and Storing Apples

A. Choosing the right apple variety

First and foremost, let’s talk about the apples themselves. Different apple varieties have different rates of browning. Granny Smith and Honeycrisp apples, for example, tend to brown slower than others. So, if you’re planning a dish where appearance matters, keep this in mind.

Apple VarietyBrowning Rate
Granny SmithSlow
Golden DeliciousModerate
Red DeliciousFast

B. Proper storage techniques

To keep apples fresh for a longer time, store them in a cool, dark place with good ventilation. The ideal temperature is around 32°F (0°C) with 90% humidity. If you can’t provide these conditions, storing them in the crisper drawer of your fridge will do. Remember to keep apples away from other produce, as they release ethylene gas, which can cause other fruits and vegetables to spoil.

Preventing Apples from Browning During Food Preparation

A. Cutting techniques to minimize exposure to air

When cutting apples, work quickly and try to minimize the surface area exposed to air. You can also cut the apples into larger pieces or wedges, as smaller pieces will brown faster.

B. Using Honey Water to Prevent Apple Slices from Browning

Honey water is a simple and effective solution to keep your apple slices looking fresh and free from browning for at least a day if kept in the fridge. In a small bowl, mix 2 tablespoons of honey with 1 cup of water. Stir well to ensure the honey is completely dissolved. Soak the freshly cut apple slices in the honey water solution for about 3 minutes. Drain and dry the apple slices, you may rinse them with water if you don’t want any residue of honey sweetness or taste in the apple slices, I don’t normally rinse the apple as I didn’t taste it.

C. Blanching apples briefly

Blanching apples for 30-60 seconds in boiling water can help deactivate the enzymes responsible for browning. Be sure to plunge them into ice water afterward to stop the cooking process and keep their texture.

D. Using a citrus or vitamin C solution

Citrus fruits and vitamin C are rich in antioxidants, which can slow down the oxidation process. Here are some options:

  1. Lemon juice
  2. Lime juice
  3. Orange juice
  4. Vitamin C powder

Simply mix the juice or powder with water (a good ratio is 1 tablespoon juice or ½ teaspoon powder per cup of water) and soak the apple slices for a few minutes. Then, drain and pat dry.

E. Soaking apples in a saltwater or sugar solution

Soaking apple slices in salt water (½ teaspoon salt per cup of water) or sugar solution (2 tablespoons sugar per cup of water) for a few minutes can also help prevent browning. Just be sure to rinse and pat dry before using.

F. Using commercial anti-browning products

There are also commercial products available, such as Fruit-Fresh or Ball’s Fruit Protector, which can be found in most grocery stores. Follow the instructions on the package for the best results.

Soak apple in honey water

The Bottom Line

All the methods mentioned above are effective in preventing apple browning for around 2-3 hours at room temperature (cool temperature), so feel free to use whatever you have on hand for a quick solution.

However, after 6-7 hours, sliced apple will began to show signs of browning. If you want to keep them longer, store them in an airtight container or zip-log bag, sliced apples should be able to stay fresh overnight with little sign of browning.