June 17, 2013 | Home >Healthy Kids >How to Prevent Sliced Fruit From Turning Brown
How to Prevent Sliced Fruit From Turning Brown
June 17, 2013 | Home >Healthy Kids >How to Prevent Sliced Fruit From Turning Brown

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?  How to Prevent Sliced Fruit From Turning Brown. No more brown apples in my salad! We use this trick every time!The great thing is there are a lot of different solutions to prevent sliced fruit from turning brown, 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.

How to Prevent Sliced Fruit From Turning Brown. No more brown apples in my salad! We use this trick every time!How to Prevent Sliced Fruit From Turning Brown. No more brown apples in my salad! We use this trick every time!

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!

Place the slices of fruit in a small bowl and soak them 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.

Before

After 

How to Prevent Sliced Fruit From Turning Brown. No more brown apples in my salad! We use this trick every time! How to Prevent Sliced Fruit From Turning Brown. No more brown apples in my salad! We use this trick every time!
How to Prevent Sliced Fruit From Turning Brown. No more brown apples in my salad! We use this trick every time! How to Prevent Sliced Fruit From Turning Brown. No more brown apples in my salad! We use this trick every time!
How to Prevent Sliced Fruit From Turning Brown. No more brown apples in my salad! We use this trick every time! How to Prevent Sliced Fruit From Turning Brown. No more brown apples in my salad! We use this trick every time!
How to Prevent Sliced Fruit From Turning Brown. No more brown apples in my salad! We use this trick every time! How to Prevent Sliced Fruit From Turning Brown. No more brown apples in my salad! We use this trick every time!

 

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.

 

How to Prevent Sliced Fruit From Turning Brown. No more brown apples in my salad! We use this trick every time!

How to Prevent Sliced Fruit From Turning Brown

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!

written by
Natalie Monson

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Comments(63)
Lindsey David says:

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

Sarah says:

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

Amy says:

We soaked for 5 minutes, and then drained it!

Alexandra says:

If the kids like cinnamon, sprinkle some on top and the apples won’t go brown. It will keep them fresh for hours and it’s tasty!

Amy says:

Soak for 5, drain than bag!

Cath says:

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.

Kristen says:

The only con with a salt water solution is it does affect the taste. It doesn’t seem to bother my husband, but it bothers me.

Saranya Surendran says:

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

Kari says:

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!

Allison says:

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

Rich says:

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

Linda says:

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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Bob gimmick says:

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 says:

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

Amanda says:

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.

Erin says:

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

Michelle says:

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.

Kelli says:

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

Megan says:

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.

Rebecca says:

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

Jennifer L. says:

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!!!!!

Brenda says:

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

Marcy says:

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

Emily Alexander says:

Sprite works too

Robyn says:

Does it work on bananas also?

Kerri M says:

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

Kerri M says:

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

Milena says:

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!

Catherine says:

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

Cindy says:

This confused me too.

Leah says:

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

Sheryl says:

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?

Laura W says:

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?)

Brenda says:

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.

Jakota says:

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.

Leona says:

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

Shana says:

you can also use vitamin C tablets dissolved in water.

Shana says:

you can also use vitamin C tablets dissolved in water.

Karen says:

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.

Cheese says:

Or club soda?? I’m pretty sure she used club soda.

Linda says:

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.

Christina says:

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.

Christina says:

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.

Jenn S says:

I bet it was a typo. Salt instead of soda.

Natalie says:

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 🙂

Natalie says:

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 🙂

Jennifer says:

Has anyone tried this with avocado?

Anne Melrose says:

I have a soda streamer to make my own soda water. Would that soda water work as well Just wondering if there is other ingredients in store bought club soda other than CO2 gaz.? thank you

Natalie Monson says:

I think that should work great!

Tami says:

I like using salt water. 1/2 teaspoon of salt per quart of water, for about 3-5 minutes

Karen says:

Fruit fresh is much better than true citric acid. Bottle is almost identical. But no tart flavor.

Leslie says:

Thank you for this information. Acidic’s make my tongue hurt and swell so I will be trying the Soda

Alissa says:

The cheapest way to do this is to buy a sodastream. Then you always have soda at your fingertips and it makes great sparkling water. I also made a smoothie and added soda water to it for a refreshing snack!

Sarah says:

Where is the control group photo of apples that weren’t treated with anything? You can’t really tell much of anything without it.

Natalie Monson says:

The control group is just plain water. I wanted to compare apples to apples (pun intended) which means they needed to be soaked in something or it wouldn’t really show results. Unsoaked apples just turn brown – no experiment needed for that!

becky says:

I’m curious about the statement “Soda water actually beat lemon juice in appearance, flavor and texture, but not nutritionally.” What is the issue? I’m trying to figure out how much or little nutritional value a dip in lemon juice adds. What is the nutritional gain of using lemon juice and the nutritional loss using soda water? I was under the impression that plain soda water, seltzer and mineral water do not cause any issues to teeth or body while the acid in citrus will damage teeth.

Natalie Monson says:

The only reason it would be nutritionally less than the lemon juice, is because of the sodium content. It isn’t much and so really is probably very negligible. Just thought I would mention it 🙂

Sheila Kay says:

2/14/16 Hi, just found this page and it was so helpful. I looked it up because I’m going to be making Prosciutto wrapped apples I found on Pinterest. I want to make the appetizer early since I have so much to juggle when people are arriving for Valentine’s Day dinner.

Natalie Monson says:

So glad it helped you!

Bostonmama says:

We use apple juice to soak our sliced apples in. Crazy right? They don’t get brown and taste like….apples.

Sue A Druan says:

You can simply use sugar water. Works very well. Adds a tiny amount of sweetness.

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