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why do apples turn brown science project

Kitchen Science Why Do Apples Turn Brown?

Have you ever wondered why apple slices turn brown when exposed to air? If you slice an apple and pack it for lunch you’ll find apple slices that have turned a light shade of brown when you open your lunch bag. Let’s look at why apple slices turn brown for today’s kitchen science experiment and see if we can find a way to keep them fresh.


  • An apple
  • A butter knife or apple cutter
  • Cutting board
  • Lemon Juice
  • Honey
  • Cup of Water
why do apples turn brown


1. Place your apple on the cutting board.
2. Slice your apple into a few slices with an adult’s help.
3. Wait for a while and see the apple slices turn brown.
chopped apples

Why Do Apple Slices Turn Brown?

Apples have something called PPO (polyphenol oxidase). This is an enzyme that keeps the plant alive. When you cut the apple open, cells inside it are opened. The air causes the PPO enzyme to react and turn the apple brown.
apple slice turning brown

Now let’s try to keep the apple slices from browning.

Slice an apple and divide the slices into three groups. Try the one experiment from below with each group to see if the apples keep their color.
  • Keep the slices soaked in water before you eat them to prevent the oxygen from getting to the enzymes inside.
  • Coat slices lightly in honey
  • Dip the fruits in lemon juice.

apple experiment

why do apples turn brown science project

completing apple slices experiment

Wait for a couple of hours and then check on your apple slices. Which apple slices kept their color and which slices turned brown?

keep an apple from browning

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