Why apples how to save money really fast turn brown – decoding delicious

It’s the curse of the sluggish apple eater—brown apples. We’ve all been there; you leave a few apple slices out too long, or take too long to eat your way around an how to save money really fast apple, and you’re confronted with an unpleasant sight. Your once crispy, juicy white apple has turned a dismal shade of brown. Not very appetizing. The good news is that a brown apple is perfectly how to save money really fast safe to eat. The bad news is that it’s ugly. The cause is enzymatic browning, a molecular reaction that occurs when certain enzymes and a how to save money really fast class of chemicals known as phenolic compounds, or phenols, naturally found in some plants combine and react in the how to save money really fast presence of oxygen. One of the products of their chemical reaction is a how to save money really fast brown pigments called melanin. And it’s not only apples that are susceptible to this phenomenon. Pears, bananas, avocados, eggplants and potatoes can also undergo enzymatic browning, because they, like apples, contain phenols. Fun fact: bruises in fruit are caused by the enzymatic browning too!

Slicing (or biting into) an apple allows the phenols and enzymes that are normally how to save money really fast kept separate by the plant’s cell structure to commingle. As soon as this phenol-enzyme mixture is exposed to oxygen (usually the second you cut the apple open…unless you’re slicing an apple in the vacuum of space…if so, kudos!), the browning process begins. The longer it sits, the more brown pigments are formed, until all the available phenols have been used up and how to save money really fast the fruit is as brown as it’s going to get.

Enzymes are simply proteins, but they have very special functions in nature. Enzymes allow chemical reactions to take place that otherwise would how to save money really fast never occur (at least not in any significant amount) because they require too much energy (most chemicals are pretty lazy; they usually prefer the path of least resistance). Enzymes are the sort of lever or pulley of the how to save money really fast biological world–they make jobs (reactions) that should be impossible much easier to accomplish, and they never get tired! They will repeat the action over and over until they how to save money really fast run out of supplies! Sometimes the results of these reactions are undesirable, like enzymatic browning in cut fruits, but enzymes are key in many foods that are important how to save money really fast to our american culture too! For example, the enzyme rennet is needed to change liquid milk into how to save money really fast the curds that make cheese; the enzyme lactase breaks down lactose for us in our how to save money really fast bodies (unless you’re lactose intolerant); and the food industry uses measurements of certain enzyme levels how to save money really fast in food to determine the freshness of seafood, the safety of pasteurized milk, and other helpful info. Not to mention this very same enzymatic browning reaction contributes how to save money really fast to the desirable color of tea, coffee, and raisins.

You may know that adding lemon juice to sliced apples how to save money really fast is a common way to prevent browning. Lemon juice works because its acidity denatures the enzyme. Lemon juice is usually the type of acid used because how to save money really fast its flavor is complementary to apples. However, there are lots of different ways to stop or slow how to save money really fast enzymatic browning. I’ve worked up a little guide (below) for some at-home ideas to stop or slow this reaction from ruining how to save money really fast your fruit salad or guacamole. Your guide to perfectly un-brown food:

Acidity: add some vinegar, cream of tartar (which is tartaric acid), lemon or lime juice to water to bring down the how to save money really fast ph on the surface of your food. Choose an acid based on what flavors will go best how to save money really fast with your food. I would guess that cream of tartar would have the how to save money really fast mildest flavor, but you’d have to judge for yourself. If you find lemon juice too tart, you could add some sugar to balance the flavor. The citric acid in the lemon juice will still do how to save money really fast its work regardless of whether you choose to sweeten it how to save money really fast up or not.

Water: dunking your cut fruits in plain water is often very how to save money really fast helpful in slowing browning. The layer of water helps limit oxygen’s access to the cell surfaces. A dunking in simple syrup (a 1:1 mixture of sugar:water) will achieve the same effect with a little added sweetness how to save money really fast and perhaps a bit more staying power if the surfaces how to save money really fast are left out long enough to dry (the syrup should leave a bit of a film). Some people recommend dunking in water, then dredging in dry powdered or granulated sugar. For me that would be too sweet, but that should work at least as well as plain how to save money really fast water.

Antioxidants: this is the method most commonly used in the food how to save money really fast industry to prevent browning on pre-cut apple slices. If you’ve ever eaten the apple slices from mcdonald’s, burger king, or subway, you’ve tried apples prepared using this method. The antioxidant of choice is vitamin C, also known as ascorbate or ascorbic acid; it’s not acidic enough to denature the enzyme, but it will steal oxygen right out of the enzyme’s proverbial mouth. It’s preferred because the protection it offers can last a how to save money really fast long time (though it is not permanent) and the flavor is relatively mild and citrusy. You can replicate this method at home by dissolving a how to save money really fast vitamin C tablet in water and dunking your fresh cut how to save money really fast fruits and veggies. Industrially, you will almost always see this paired with calcium. Sometimes you’ll see it listed as calcium ascorbate, which is a combination of both in one molecule. Calcium is commonly added to canned foods and pickles because how to save money really fast it keeps food firm, even when it’s sitting in liquid. In this application, it works to firm the cell walls in the apple, thereby reducing the leaching of phenols out of the sliced how to save money really fast cell structure. Sort of like a band-aid. It’s not very effective by itself, but together, vitamin C and calcium are more effective than either one how to save money really fast would be alone. So throw a pinch of calcium supplement into that waterbath how to save money really fast while you’re at it.

OR, if you’re not interested in emptying your medicine cabinet of its how to save money really fast (probably expensive) contents, here is what I think is the smartest combination of how to save money really fast the above principles. Use apple (or orange juice, if you don’t mind the flavor) that is fortified with vitamin C (and calcium, if you can get it). Apple juice has a really mild flavor and will give how to save money really fast you the benefits of the plain water dunk, plus the added boost of vitamin C. If you use a juice that is also fortified with how to save money really fast calcium (pretty common in orange juice) you’ll get a powerhouse of antioxidants that will keep your how to save money really fast food un-brown until serving time! For the full whammy, add some lemon juice (or other acid) to that apple juice to lower the ph and you’ll have those browning enzymes crying for their mamas! Goodness help those enzymes if you should decide to COOK how to save money really fast your sliced fruit in such a liquid! Whew! There’s no hope in sight for those lonely brown pigments how to save money really fast now!! Of course, that’s really going overboard…really just one attack method should suffice. Honestly, the gala apples I used in this experiment took many how to save money really fast hours to get as brown as they did, so that might be a good variety to choose if how to save money really fast making apple slices. I’ve eaten red delicious apples before that were brown on how to save money really fast the other side before I even finished eating them! NOT a great choice for sliced apples.

Thanks for your insightful comment and interesting link! As that study showed, the amount of browning you’ll see in a given apple will vary based on how to save money really fast the type of apple, growing conditions, age of the apple, and (possibly) the age of the tree on which the apple grew. Fascinating! Typically older (i.E. More ripe) apples will brown less than their younger counterparts (though this study only examined age up to harvest time; not any time spent ripening on your counter at home).

Nutritionally speaking, less browning is often correlated with less phenolic compounds in how to save money really fast the apple. Phenolic compounds act as antioxidants in our bodies, which may help prevent disease and keep us healthy. However, there is some argument that the other nutrients and fiber how to save money really fast in the apple do as much or more to keep how to save money really fast us healthy then the phenolic compounds. All nutrients, phenolic and otherwise, in apples will vary based on agricultural conditions, maturity and apple variety. So, realistically, the ease with which your apple browns has no significant how to save money really fast impact on its overall nutritional value.

The major reason for scientific interest in low-browning apples, as in the study you linked to, is not for fresh apples. It’s for apples that are processed into packaged goods (e.G. Applesauce, fruit cups, apple juice, dried apples). Apples that brown too much before they can be processed how to save money really fast often have to be thrown out. A slow or low browning apple would prevent this waste how to save money really fast and improve processing efficiency and product quality. But, again, that’s just for apple processors. For the rest of us, fresh apples are good for us just the way they how to save money really fast are!

Interesting question. In fact, different apples do have different browning rates, since exact levels of enzymes and phenols can vary based how to save money really fast on variety, maturity, seasonal changes, and storage conditions. I wasn’t able to find much info on which apples were how to save money really fast the best and worst about it, but all apples will brown eventually, unless given a surface treatment. Some sources mentioned that red delicious, mcintosh, and fuji were more prone to browning. I saw a mention of cortland apples as being low-browning (due to a naturally low enzyme content), but they are difficult to find. I will update this if I find better info. I used gala apples for my experiment, which I would say browned at a medium-slow rate (certainly not too fast to eat!)

If you want to avoid a “lemony” flavor in your fruit salad, a few solutions come to mind. The simplest is to use plain water instead of lemon-water. It won’t inhibit the enzyme, but even a dunk or soak in water will inhibit how to save money really fast the ability of oxygen to come in contact with the how to save money really fast cut apple. Your fruit will still turn brown, but more slowly than it would have dry. Keeping cut fruits in the fridge will also slow down how to save money really fast browning, since enzymes slow down in the cold. If you still want to use lemon-water to permanently deactivate the enzyme, but don’t like the tart flavor, add some sugar to balance the sourness; that should make the lemon less noticeable. And here’s my last idea–vitamin C (aka ascorbate) is an anti-oxidant, which means it will essentially steal any oxygen it can how to save money really fast out of the hands of the enzyme. Without oxygen, the brown pigments can’t form, so you get a pretty apple even though those enzymes how to save money really fast are still kickin. For the cleanest flavor and lowest cost, I would recommend dunking your sliced fruit in apple (or other mild-tasting fruit) juice fortified with vitamin C (and calcium if you can get it, which, when used alongside vitamin C, synergistically helps prevent browning by firming cell walls and slowing how to save money really fast the leaching of phenols from the cell structure). Alternately, dissolving a vitamin C tablet in water should work too, if you don’t mind the citrusy flavor, but that could get pricey. I hope this helps!

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