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Prevent food discolouration by these tips

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Sep 20, 2016
4.8 / 5(4 Ratings)
Quick Bites

  • Why some fruits and vegetables sag and change colour.
  • Enzymes called polyphenol oxidase or tyrosinase contribute to the discoloration.
  • Enzymatic browning can be prevented.
  • Discolored fruits are edible.


Have you ever wondered why certain fruits and vegetables change or lose colour, what do you think the reason is? What happens when you cut an apple and keep it like that for a few minutes? The apple that was once juicy and fresh will lose colour and turn brown. Now, if you cut a banana or a potato, the same thing will happen to them also. So, what is prime cause of this? Why fruits and vegetable sag and change colour when left without a peel or half cut? And is it safe to eat fruits and vegetables that have lost their colour?


Prevent food discolouration by these tips


Well, you might be surprised but you can definitely eat the fruits and vegetables that have been discolored. Discoloured fruits can be eaten but still you should be aware of the reason of food discolouration.

So, there are enzymes called polyphenol oxidase or tyrosinase that are present in the cells of fruits and vegetables. When cells are exposed to air, these enzymes react with oxygen triggering enzymatic browning that turns the plantphenols into brown pigments called melanin. This is the same pigmentation that gives colour to human skin. And this is why fruits and vegetables turn brown in colour after being cut and even when they get slightly crushed.

However, discolouration of food can be prevented. Yes, you can prevent discolouration of fruits and vegetables by using anti-browning techniques. Take a look!

What all fruit turn brown? Fruits that turn brown include peach, apple, banana and pear.. You can easily prevent them from turning brown by cutting them into slices and then just adding a little citrus fruit juice on the surface of the slices, like orange or lemon juice etc..Preferably, use lemon juice as it is the most effective one.

Similarly, vegetables that turn brown are sweet potatoes, potatoes and artichokes etc. The same process follows with them, you cut them and keep them in open air and they turn brown.

Alternatively, you can just take a bowl of fresh water and add a few drops of apple cider or vinegar or lemon juice in it. Just make sure, you mix it well. Now, soak the fruits in this acidulated water but not more than ten minutes. And if it is a banana, then just soak it for a couple of minutes. Now, drain the water and dry the fruits before eating. Wondering what vinegar or citrus juice will do? They will reduce the pH level on the surface of the fruits and vegetables and water will help reduce the amount of oxygen that the fruits are exposed to and therefore prevents the browning.


Image: Getty

Read more articles in Diet & Nutrition.

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