Fruit Tip: Apples

While archeologists have found evidence that humans have been enjoying apples since at least 6500 BCE, apples were introduced to New York in the 1600s by European settlers. Today, New York state is the the US' second largest apple producer.

When fresh apples are peeled or cut open, the apple's cells are exposed and react with the oxygen in the air. The reaction that occurs, which is called oxidation, is what turns the apple brown. When an apple is bruised the same type of reaction has occurred. If an apple is damaged by being hit or dropped, the apple's cells in that area are damaged and exposed to the air inside the apple, causing them to turn brown.

To avoid browning apples, try brushing the surface of the apple with lemon juice or soaking cut apples in a mixture of water with lemon juice or cider vinegar (approximately 1/4 cup lemon juice to 1 quart cold water). Other alternatives include dipping apple slices in lemon-lime soda, or soaking apples slices in apple juice until ready to use. The acidity in the apple juice prevents the apple slices from browning and doesn't change the flavor of the apple.