How to Prevent Sliced Fruit From Turning Brown

Brown fruit is just not appealing.  Even though it might not taste any different, we eat with our eyes.  Children especially eat with their eyes. If they are on the edge about eating a piece of fruit, if it is brown then there is no way they will want to eat it! And how many times have you seen a really cute fruit dish that you would love to make for a party but then thought the fruit would go brown and so opted to not make it?  The great thing is there are a lot of different solutions to prevent sliced fruit from browning, but I wanted to know which one actually works the best.

I chose apples as my sliced fruit because they are commonly used and definitely go brown fast.  The methods I used could definitely be used for any fruit though.

I used 4 different solutions to test the effectiveness.

1) Lemon Juice.   To make a lemon juice solution you will mix 1 tablespoon of lemon juice per 1 cup of water. You can also use other citrus juices like pineapple, or orange for a different flavor.

2) Citric Acid.  This is usually found by the canning supplies and is used to prevent browning in your canned goods or increase the acidity of certain foods when canning.  You will dissolve 3 tsp of citric acid in 1 cup of water.

3) Soda Water.  You can find this in stores and it is called Club Soda, or Soda Water.  No mixing :)

4) Plain Cold Water.   No mixing here.  Just use cold water!

The fruit was soaked for 5 minutes only.  These are the visual results.  The after are pictures of the apples being in the fridge for about an hour and then out on the counter for about an hour.



Salt Water Before.jpg Salt Water After.jpg


The criteria I used to determine which method was best was:

1) Appearance

2) Flavor

3) Texture

The top winners were definitely the soda water and the lemon juice.  Soda water actually beat lemon juice in appearance, flavor and texture, but not nutritionally.  I just don’t feel as good about soaking my fruit in soda water as I do lemon juice, or another type of citrus juice.  The only problem with the lemon juice solution is that it definitely is tart and tastes like lemon!  For me I actually like the tart flavor, but for a picky eater they might not like it so much.  A good substitution would be to use pineapple juice.  The next day these apples still looked great!  They also were super crunchy and hadn’t gone mushy at all.

Best Fruit-Browning Prevention Solutions

#1 Soda Water.  Pros: These apples maintained their white color, had no other flavor other than sweet apple and were super crunchy.  The only con is the expense of purchasing the soda water.

#Lemon Juice.  Pros: These apples also maintained their white color, and were super crunchy.  The only con was that the lemon juice flavor was still strong even though it was diluted in water.

#3 Citric Acid.    Pros: There was no other flavor other than apple and they also were super crunchy.  Cons:  These apples did turn slightly brown.  Also, citric acid isn’t super cheap and you typically don’t have it around the house.

#4 Plain Water.  The pros are that you always have cold water, and it is free!  The cons are that these apples did turn brown (not as brown as adding nothing), and they didn’t maintain a super crunchy texture. They did still have a great flavor though.


24 Hours Later.jpg

You can use these solutions for fruit of all kinds – bananas, pears, nectarines, peaches, and any other fruit that tends to brown after being sliced!


Lindsey David

How long do the apples need to soak in the lemon water before you drain it?


So do you leave the fruit soaking in the solution? Or dip and then can bag it…


If the salt water solution is half a teaspoon of salt in four cups of water, I’d say the increased sodium is probably negligible and not worth worrying about.

Saranya Surendran

Will the apples stay just as good for 2 hrs if put in a box and non refrigerated?


Good morning! Just wanted to pass along a solution I discovered to stop apples from browning. A friend told me to soak them in 100% apple juice. I was skeptical, as that sounds like soaking them in what they are already contain, but it works amazingly! No browning at all, and it actually crisps up the apples!

I soak my apples in Soda Water (Club Soda) for 5 minutes and they are good for up to 24 hours. No added taste.

I’ve always used lemon and although you can taste the lemon I’ve never found it to be too overpowering.


You can also cut apple into wedges, then reassemble as a whole apple, then put an elastic band around apple to hold it together, stays fresh n crispy.

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Have you ever tried lime juice? It works just as well as lemon juice. At least that is what I’ve been told.

Lynette Hershberger

I like to use sprite or 7up – even after it’s gone flat it’s still good for this!


I always use club soda like Allison! I soak 4-5 apples or more in a big bowl after slicing & then drain and bag. They’ve stayed crispy without browning for 3-4 days this way. No added taste whatsoever.


I’m surprised to see you didn’t use sprite or club soda as that works as well.


I have used the salt solution and used a couple of dashes of sat and it worked. I am glad know my son doesn’t want his apples cut and he isn’t picky on the brown anymore either.


We use honey! It changes the flavor, but I’ve never heard anyone complain! :)


I read you can also just add lemon juice to the water so they do not taste too much like lemon. It worked good for me. I’ll also try the apple juice one.


When u use the lemon juice use orange juice mixed it will make it tart and kids love it!!! ;)

Jennifer L.

Pineapple juice also works!!! And it doesn’t has a start a flavor as lemons.
But I love the club soda til-I’m going to try that one! I’ve tried the salt water trick but I thought they tasted a little salty-ish. Maybe I needed to rinse them, or maybe the “recipe” I used had an incorrect rato of salt:water.
Thanks for these tips!!!!!


I pour pineapple juice over my apple slices. They taste better too.


Do you cut the apples first and then place in a bowl with the solution you choose?

Kerri M

Try putting a little table salt in some water; works like a charm! The apples wont taste salty either

Kerri M

Try putting a little table salt in some water; works like a charm! The apples wont taste salty either


i love the soda water idea. As for its only con- the expense- you can buy it pretty cheap at warehouse stores like Costco and if you are like me you will use the rest of the 12 pack bottles to just make a healthy fizzy drink for yourself by mixing juice (apple, grape, orange) with it;) This is my SODA!


Why do all your pictures say Soda Water, but you have several places that you say Salt Water???????


I’ve heard orange juice works well too, but I bet the apples will taste like apple oranges. ;)


I’m confused! In your four trials, you mention plain water, soda water, lemon juice and citric acid. Then you say one of the best of these is salt water? Where is the salt water mentioned? You don’t label any of the pictures as salt water either. Was that supposed to be soda instead of salt?

Try this — my kids call it a “magic apple” and it’s a duh moment. :) Slice the apple with the slicer, BUT don’t cut all the way through … and then pull back up. Wrap the apple in a paper towel and put a rubber band around it. That’s it. The apple doesn’t brown, it looks like a whole apple, and your kids get to wow their friends that their apple is somehow pre-sliced. :) (not sure if I explained that well, but the apple is still connected a bit at the bottom so they can pull pieces off. Yes?)


My kids took lots of slices apples in their lunches to school. I tried lemon juice but it changes the flavor of the apple. The no brainer was to soak them in apple juice which I had on hand. The natural sugars and flavor of apple juice kept the apples just as fresh as lemon juice.


Sprite or 7-up would add refined sugar/high fructose corn syrup and all the other nasty stuff in soda to a natural apple. Club soda is soda water.


I think all of these methods work but the variety of apple you use is going to make the biggest difference.


The best way is to put 1 tsp. of salt in about a gallon of water. Apples were still white and there is no salt taste.


I shake a little cinnamon over sliced apples, put a lid on the container and toss gently. The cinnamon adds a touch of sweetness and the brown color covers up any browning that may occur.


Because it use to say salt water. I shared this post back in August 2014. At that time the #1 solution was a salt water solution 1/2tsp of salt in 4 cups of water. Apparently now they’re saying its soda water. Seems odd to completely change/edit a post on what solution was used while still using the original pictures.


Why the change in the post without disclosures?? I shared this just a few months ago (Aug. 2014) and at that time the #1 solution was listed as salt water. Now it has been edited to soda water with the salt water solution completely gone yet you haven’t changed the pictures (other than listing soda rather than salt). Seems a bit deceptive.

Christina – we definitely were not trying to be deceptive! We just tried it again with soda water and found that we liked it a bit more, but decided not to retake photos since it was on the fly. You can definitely use both salt or soda water and they will work good. Hopefully that helps clear things up a bit :)

Catherine – when we originally tried this we used salt water, but since have tried it again with soda water and found that we like it better. You can use either and will get good results, but soda water just does’t add the sodium. Hopefully that helps clear things up :)

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