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Many people use a little lemon or citrus to keep sliced fruit like apples or pears from browning, but it turns out a mixture of honey and water is much better and keeps your fruit fresher longer. This video from our friends at America’s Test Kitchen explains why, and notes that this trick works on veggies as well.
The tip is pretty simple—soak your apples, pears, or other fruit you don’t want to brown for 30 seconds in a mixture of 2 tablespoons of honey and 1 cup of water. Your fruit will stay fresh and bright for up to 8 hours, perfect if you need to slice now and serve later. The video above explains why and how the process works, but ATK tested it with an untreated apple and an apple soaked for a few minutes in honey water, and the soaked apple was bright for well over 24 hours—way longer than you’d probably need if you’re slicing fruit for a party or packing fruit in a container for a bag lunch or road snack.
If you’re curious about the science behind it, there’s a peptide compound in honey that stops the activation of polyphenol oxidase when it’s exposed to air, or the enzyme responsible for the oxidation process in fleshy fruits and veggies like apples, pears, and potatoes. Give this one a try yourself, it works very well.
How to Prevent Fruit from Browning | America’s Test Kitchen