The Simple Trick To Keep Pre-Cut Apple Slices Fresh All Week

Apples are a healthy, tasty snack with a shelf life of up to six weeks in the refrigerator if they're uncut (via Healthline). Emphasis on the word "uncut," because once you slice into the fruit or bite into the skin, you might have a good idea about what happens next. If you don't eat it right away, an apple's once juicy, cream-colored flesh starts to turn brown, even in a matter of minutes. Wait long enough, and the flesh will soften and eventually become inedible.

The swift process of a typical apple's change in color and texture can be a bit frustrating, especially if you're cutting apple slices in the morning to be eaten later for lunch, or making a fruit tray appetizer for a party later in the day. A mushy apple is fine in a recipe for applesauce or a baked dessert, but in its pure and uncooked form, an apple should be firm and crisp. So is there anything that can be done to keep sliced apples from turning brown so quickly? The short and simple answer is yes! 

Salt slows down the oxidation process for apples

Before we get into how to prevent sliced apples from turning brown, it's useful to know what causes it to happen in the first place. For that, you can blame science. When you slice or bite an apple open, you're essentially damaging the flesh and exposing it to oxygen. This exposure process is called oxidation, which causes the exposed apple flesh to produce melanins (comparable to skin melanin); this in turn leads to the phenomenon we all hate known as enzymatic browning (via Scientific American). Fortunately for home cooks everywhere, there's a natural preservative in your spice cupboard that can slow down this oxidation process: salt.

During a July 2022 segment for Good Morning America, influencer and noted food blogger Nicole Keshishian Modic shared her simple trick for how to keep pre-cut apple slices fresh all week. In the clip, According to Modic, the first step is filling a bowl with cold water and Kosher salt and adding half a teaspoon of Kosher salt for every cup of water. After that, whisk the salt until it dissolves. Next, slice your apples and toss them in the bowl for about five minutes. After the timer expires, drain the apples and store them in a container until you're ready to eat them. If you're not a fan of the taste, simply rinse them off with water before eating.