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Foods -- Vegetables

Why does cauliflower turn dark during cooking?

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Colorless leucoanthocyanins turn purple as the vegetable grows. When these purple pigments are heated they may break down and cause a gray discoloration. Cauliflower also may turn dark in response to iron in the water or utensils. If you have problems with frozen cauliflower turning brown, use 2-3 tablespoons of lemon juice per gallon of water in the blanching water.

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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