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Canning -- Fruits

Can I prevent the top surface of applesauce from browning?

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The browning is due to oxygen reacting with the applesauce mixture and turning brown. If the browning was due to heat, then the entire applesauce mixture would be discolored. This is probably happening because the applesauce is not being processed for the proper length of time. The processing will kill spoilage organisms as well as it will drive out all air. Air contains oxygen so if it remains inside the jar, oxygen is available to cause browning. The acid would have to be added to the top of the applesauce to prevent this reaction. However, if it was added after packing in the jars, it would probably mix into the product. To prevent browning, always process for the recommended time.

PREPARED BY: Angela M. Fraser, Ph.D., Associate Professor/Food Safety Specialist, NC State University in July 2004

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