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Why do knife blades discolor?

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Knife blades made of carbon steel will rust if not wiped dry promptly after use. The carbon steel also reacts when in contact with acid foods. If not washed soon after contact with acid foods, the blade will develop blackish stains. This discoloration and an off odor associated with it can be transferred to foods when cutting. PREPARED BY: Angela M. Fraser, Ph.D., Associate Professor/Food Safety Specialist, and Carolyn J. Lackey, Ph.D., R.D., L.D.N., Professor/Food and Nutrition Specialist, North Carolina State University (August 2004)

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