Enzymatic Browning
Resources > Term > E > Enzymatic Browning

Are you a Smart Kitchen™ Chef?

Try it FREE or take a TOUR to explore Smart Kitchen!
+ -


Enzymatic Browning is a chemical process that creates melanins, which result in the browning of food. Oxidation, of an apple for example, causes browning (Enzymatic Browning) as the sugars in the apple break down (lose electrons) after exposure to air (which contains oxygen). In a few cases, like in teas or dried fruits, enzymatic browning can be beneficial for culinary applications. But in most cases enzymatic browning results in unattractive fruit, vegetables and seafood. Understanding the rudiments of the oxidation process is the first step in slowing it down. In Food Preparation we are concerned with prepping food, which necessarily means storing it properly too.  Common preservation techniques to slow oxidation, without adding flavors, are: Drying, Freeze Drying, Freezing, Vacuum Packing, Canning, Preserving in Syrup, Sugar Crystallization and Adding Preservatives or Inert Gasses such as Carbon Dioxide or Nitrogen.  

A squeeze of lemon juice on cut fruit or veggies staves off enzymatic browning for a time. The citrus changes the pH level of the product, in turn neutralizing the enzymes and preventing the browning process, which means better looking and fresher tasting  fruits and veggies.


There are also types of Non-Enzymatic Browning