The summer weather is winding down and fall is creeping in. With that comes falling leaves, apples, corn mazes and pumpkins. In particular at this time there are lots of apples to be picked, and eaten. As any of you who eat apples know, once you have cut them they brown pretty quickly.
Today we are going to ask the question, “What will slow apples from browning?” and see if we can find the answer.
Apple Science Experiment – What Helps Prevent Browning?
- one apple cut into slices
- lemon juice
- orange juice
- milk of magnesia
- 5 little bowls
- To begin place one apple slice in each of the five bowls.
- Cover each apple slice with one of the 5 liquids
- Make a prediction as to which liquid will keep the apple slice from browning the longest and draw or take a photo of what they look like at this beginning stage.
- Check on the apples after a couple of hours, then the next morning, and the next evening. Each time recording your observations and drawing or taking a photo. Be sure to note their smell, texture, and taste (just take a little piece each time).
- What were your findings? Did one liquid help prevent browning more than another? Why do you think this is?
Why do sliced apples turn brown?
Apples turn brown when they are sliced and exposed to air. This is because an enzyme called polyphenol oxidase reacts with the oxygen in the air causing a reaction called oxidation. This is what causes the apple slices to turn brown.
Why does fruit juice help?
Fruits often contain vitamin C which is a type of nutrient called an antioxidant. Thus using the juice from fruits such as lemons and oranges can help prevent oxidation from happening and therefore slow the browning process down.