I wanted to know if there is a way to make slices of fruit, e.g. apple, last longer outside the refrigerator. I wouldn't like my pieces of apple getting brown (oxidizing). Ideally, This would be to make them last in a picnic basket or in a lunchbox. I've heard you can put things on them like lemon I think? Does that help?

Thanks for the positive feedback ;)


2 Answers 2


Most acidic food liquids can be used to keep your apples (and other fruit) from turning brown.

Lemon and lime juice are well known. Vinegar is another that is often used. If you plan to use your fruit in a mixed (vegetable and fruit) salad, you can also use some salad dressings.

You do not need pure lemon or lime juice or vinegar. Diluted with water or juices of other fruits works. Many fruit juices themselves will do the job, if enough of them are used.

And it is not just the fruit, vegetables can go brown as well and the same liquids will mostly be good for that as well.

There are also chemicals which are food safe (often made from food items) which will do the work, some are liquid, some are powders which can be sprinkled over the fruit.
The best known is citric acid, but there are many antioxidants, this 'e-number list' lists many that are food safe, not all on the list will be suitable.

  • How about buy smaller apples, so it's small enough to eat everything and you don't have to save the uneaten sliced pieces at all? And only slice them right before eating.
  • Wrap them tightly in plastic wrap, keeping out all the air. Without any air, there shouldn't be any browning. A plastic bag might work too, if there's no air.
  • Soak the apples in a carbonated drink (Lemon-Lime soda, Ginger Ale, etc...)
  • Soak the apples in salt water for a few minutes
  • Slice a whole apple, then use a rubber band to hold all the slices together in the original apple shape. Keeping the cut surfaces against each other, and away from air, should prevent browning.
  • Add cinnamon to the apple slices, so even if they do turn a little brown you won't notice it (and they'll taste better too)

Inspiration / Source [1]

  • On point 1, the OP is talking about a picnic, so I think they mean they are cut up before eating. You know, for that a e s t h e t i c. I think point 5 is genius if it works. I'll have to try that sometime!
    – user22794
    Nov 9, 2017 at 21:25
  • @AytAyt The time's not entirely clear from the question, but sometimes they start turning brown FAST, like minutes. I read some types turn brown faster/slower than others, but when I eat a whole apple from my tree, the first bite starts turning brown before I've finished eating it, but I do eat slow... I like the soaking in soda idea myself, but prefer to mix in-mouth ;-)
    – Xen2050
    Nov 10, 2017 at 4:04

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