Browning in vegetables and fruits
You might have seen apples, pears, potatoes and brinjal that turn brown in color when peeled or cut open. Have you ever thought about it? What is the reason behind this color change? That's because of a naturally occurring process called Oxidation.
Enzymatic browning is an oxidative reaction responsible for browning in vegetables and fruits. When the skin of vegetables and fruits are either cut or broken, cell wall gets ruptured and an enzyme called polyphenol oxidase is released and reacts with the oxygen in the air. As a result vegetables and fruits turn brown or dark leading to changes in flavour and nutritional values.
There are ways to prevent fruits and vegetable from getting oxidized with the following methods.
· Squeeze lime juice on fruits such as banana, apples, avocado, pears and vegetables like potatoes, sweet potatoes to prevent oxidative browning. The juice of other citrus fruits such as oranges and grape fruits can also be used.
· Soak the cut fruits or vegetables in plain water which helps to slow down the oxidation process.
· Blanching fruits or vegetables also prevents browning.
· Wrapping in a cling wrap tightly is also a good way to prevent browning.
· Most important, do not use a rusty knife or any other iron metals because iron will increase the rate of reaction