Will pineapple juice keep apples from turning brown?

In the 13th century textbook titled “Snorri’s Edda” – the fullest and most detailed source for modern knowledge of Norse mythology — a body of myths related to the North Germanic people, apples were portrayed as magical super fruits that were capable of blessing the plentiful variation of gods with external youthfulness.

It’s such a disturbing irony that apples nowadays can barely keep their lustrous “youthfulness” for more than 30 minutes after bring sliced and left to sit alone.

They turn brown and unappealing at the smallest instant, and i forever wonder if they were the same apples that the goddess of youth (Idun) fed the other gods to keep them youthful for the rest of their lives.

Anyways, that’s some interesting piece of Norse mythology i felt like bringing up into the conversation, but i know it’s totally unrelated to the topic of discussion.

So let’s divert back to why were are here in the first place: The question: Will sprinkling pineapple juice all over your sliced apple fruits prevent them from turning brown eventually?


Pineapple juice is one of the many household ingredients that can effectively be used to limit the browning effect in sliced apples.

Simply adding or sprinkling pineapple juice in little quantities to a bowl containing freshly sliced apples can help prevent them from going brown too quickly, but not eternally. There’s a distinction, and it’s important!

They will eventually turn brown because the browning process is one that has been genetically programmed within the cells and there is nothing that can act to stop such process except with methods that directly tamper genetic materials ( Arctic apples), or those that purposely destroy the fruit completely (cooking or roasting).

Pineapple juice is able to work its magic on sliced apples because of its very antioxidant nature which slows down enzymatic browning and also its acidic nature which causes a reduction in the PH level of the apple fruits, there by inhibiting the activities of the chief culprit enzyme responsible for the entire browning process to begin.

Why do apples turn brown after being cut?

Apples brown after being cut because of an enzyme in them called polyphenol oxidase (PPO) which brings together something called polyphenols (in the apple) and oxygen in the air, in the right way.

This PPO is the chief culprit responsible for the browning process, and without it, browning can easily be avoided or rather, delayed (as is the case with arctic apples which are variants of apples that have been genetically modified to eliminate the PPO enzyme).

When an apple fruit is cut or crushed, a fresh wand is created, and this is translated in the molecular level as the destruction of cells.  Apple cells naturally contain these PPO’s alongside the polyphenol separated as distant relatives.

With the cut, and introduction of oxygen now (the exposed fresh surface of the fruit), these three are united and a reaction quickly takes place to form o-quinone compounds which then observe their own reactions to give rise to browning. The entire process where the fruit trades its lustrous vibrancy for a brown coloration is called enzymatic browning.

How long do you soak apples in pineapple juice?

Soak slices of apples in pineapple juice only for as long as required to completely coat every part of the exposed flesh and skin, about a few minutes or so.

Then, the fruits can be taken out and arranged in a bowl and kept on the counter for no more than two hours, or inside the refrigerator for no more than a day. Check to see when parts have started browning and use the apples instantly to avoid further reduction in the overall aesthetics.

An alternative method to use pineapple juice on sliced apples is to dip a brush into the juice and use the drips to coat over the exposed flesh of the fruit.

Simple get fresh slices of pineapple fruit and extract the juice into a bowl, or empty portion of the contents of a canned or tinned variant pineapple juice into a bowl and use that as the coating. They too work well.

Whichever variant of juice you’re using, your apples will come out tasting sweet as ripe pineapple. And I can’t see how that’s something anyone would detest. If you do however, give the slices a quick rinse when it’s time to use them and that should rid of any pineapple essence on them.

What other liquids or things will keep apples from turning brown

Other than pineapple juice, there are so many solutions and treatments that can be used to prevent apples from turning browning. Pick any one of these based on what’s available at the pantry or the fridge and let’s get some apples looking nice and ready for the salad.

1) Mix them with fresh acidic fruits:

Mixing sliced apples with fresh fruits, especially those that are highly acidic, will prevent the slices from going brown quickly. Such kind of fruits include orange, lemon, lime, berries, tangerines and grapefruit. If you’re already making a fruit salad, then chances are, you’ve already gotten one of these in there, so simply cut the apple slices and make sure they make good contact with these acid fruits.

2) Use milk:

3) Use syrup:

This will reduce the rate of oxygen diffusion and thus slow down the browning process. Coat the exposed surface of the sliced fruit with the syrup and then let sit until needed. Be careful of the kind of syrup you use thus as some can impart funny taste to the coated apples.

Use lemon juice

Use grapefruit juice

Use lime juice

Use strawberry juice

Use sugar solution

Will sliced apples turn brown in the fridge?

Sliced apples will eventually turn brown in the refrigerator even when they have being coated with pineapple juice or treated with any other ingredient mentioned above.

These are just temporary remedies to slow down the enzymatic browning process, but it continues regardless, and eventually the result will be visible on the coated fruit.

Sliced apples coated with acidic juices or treated with commercial powders may takes up to several hours in the fridge to turn brown than they would if left to sit coated on the counter because the refrigerator itself acts as another remedy for slowing down the activities of enzymes due to its cold nature.

The best way to slice and preserve apples ahead of time

If you’re saving the slices of apple for later use, the best way to preserve their aesthetic valueyou’re your salad would be to cut them clean, then coat with any of the ingredients below, or process using any of the methods outlined, and then store in the refrigerator at airtight conditions. Use a plastic wrap over the bowl.

A word of warning: Ensure that you aren’t using a variety of apple that brown faster than the regular, otherwise, it’s a fruitless endeavor you’re locking yourself into. Don’t blame me!

Are brown apples safe to eat?

Brown apples are completely safe to eat without negative consequences. The only drawback would be the reduction in overall nutritional value and the degradation in quality and texture of the fruit. I don’t know for you but i completely hate the sandy texture that browning imparts on apple fruits.

Related Questions:

Will pineapple juice keep bananas from turning brown?

Banana also suffer from the same browning effect as apples, and pineapple juice will definitely work to keep them from browning temporarily.

Final verdict

Pineapple juice are acidic, and their acidic nature helps to inhibit the activity of an enzyme called polyphenol oxidase present in the cells of apples which in turn helps to slow down their browning. Acids in pineapples aren’t the only ingredients that work to prevent quick browning in apples. The huge amount of antioxidant they contain also help to reduce the rate of diffusion of oxygen to the cut surface which helps to slow down browning.

Pineapple juice can be applied to apples slices by method of soaking or brushing. And it normally takes around a few hours for the applied protective coating to wear down. Reapplying the coating in this case wouldn’t work, and the best option would be to use the apples as soon as possible.

Despite their ugly appearance, browned apples are totally safe to consume without any worry for health implications.

Next time you cut an apple, know that the wounds would be eager for a tan, but remember the magical formula for granting youthfulness to browning cuts and you’d be completely sorted out for the rest of the day!