Tired of Browning Produce? Prepare to Be Amazed!

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keeping apples and avocado from turning brown

If you’re tired of fruit turning brown prematurely, you’re gonna love this post! 

Fruit-Fresh from Ball is a handy product that helps protect freshly cut produce from turning brown fast – and without changing the flavor!

But does it work on apples? Guacamole? Read on for all the different ways I use this product, and try it for yourself!

sprinkling ball fruit-fresh onto an apple slice

Sliced produce turns brown naturally when exposed to air.

Those brown spots (also known as fruit rust) are caused by oxygen in the air reacting with the plant enzyme polyphenol oxidase.

Ball Fruit-Fresh contains citric acid that helps protect the fruit from browning for about 8 hours (according to the label). To use it, sprinkle it right on the fruit or make a solution with a little water and then coat the fruit fresh after slicing.

apples in a baggie with fruit fresh

Fruit-Fresh is perfect for packing lunches.

I know my kids aren’t as likely to eat sliced apples in their lunch if they turn brown, so this is a great option to combat that issue. But even if you slice apples for fruit salad or fruit trays for entertaining, this is a great product to have on hand!

apples using Ball Fruit-Fresh vs. not using

Yep, I realize pineapple juice or lemon juice can yield similar results for apples.

I like this solution a little better than those because I don’t have to open an entire can (or keep lemons/juice on hand). You can just keep Fruit-Fresh in the pantry.

Fruit-Fresh is also used commonly for canning fruit, making pies, and also for dehydrating fruit (which makes sense since it’s in the canning supplies aisle at most big-box retailers or grocers).

cream cheese caramel apple dip

Fruit-Fresh keeps fruit photo-ready, too!

Making food look delicious is a priority for me as a food blogger. I remember once photographing a caramel apple dip, and the apples were almost turning brown immediately. Yuck.

I actually came across this tip about using Fruit-Fresh while reading food photography/styling articles. It definitely makes sliced fruits look more appealing for a longer period of time.

keeping guac fresh with Ball Fruit Fresh

Here are some suggested uses for Fruit-Fresh:

  • Fresh Produce: Sprinkle ½ tsp onto 1 cup sliced fruit or vegetables and toss.
  • Fruit Tray & Salad: Mix 2 tsp in 3 Tbsp water and toss with up to 1 quart of sliced fruit or vegetables. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate. Serve within 6 hours.
  • Guacamole/Dip: Stir 2 tsp into ingredients for each cup of dip.
  • Recipes: Mix 3 Tbsp to 2 quarts of water and add sliced fruit or vegetables. Drain. Prepare recipe.
  • Canning or Freezing: Add 1 tsp to each cup of liquid in the recipe.
  • Freezing: Mix 1 Tbsp with each quart of sliced fruit, or mix 1 Tbsp with 1 cup sugar for each qt of sliced fruit.
  • Dehydrating: Mix 2 Tbsp to 2 quarts water and add fruit. Drain and pat dry. Prepare recipe.

fresh fruit before and after on guacamole

Fresh-Fruit works for keeping guac fresh overnight, too!

I was curious if Ball Fruit-Fresh slowed down the browning process on fresh guacamole. I was a tad skeptical, so I did my own experiment!

On the left, I added the Fruit-Fresh, and on the right none was added. They were both covered in the fridge. You can see how the guac without it, on the right, turned watery and brown after 8 hours in the fridge. The one with Ball Fruit-Fresh is still green and fresh looking.

after using ball fruit-fresh on apples and avocados

How did Fruit-Fresh work on avocados and apples?

I sprinkled Ball Fruit-Fresh on avocados and apples and left them on the counter for 4 hours. There’s a noticeable difference between the left side and right side (the left side has the Fruit-Fresh.) It’s interesting how the avocado with Fruit-Fresh is turning brown about half as fast as the one without!

container of Ball-Fruit fresh on the Counter with sliced produce

The consensus? I’ll continue to use Ball Fruit-Fresh! So far I’ve successfully used it on apples, pears, avocados, guacamole, and bananas.

Try it and let me know what you think!

Find out why our team is obsessed with this roll-up kitchen drying rack!

About the writer:

Lina has a Bachelor's Degree from Northern Arizona University with 11 years of blogging and photography experience having work featured in Today.com, Martha Stewart, Country Living, Fox News, Buzzfeed, and HGTV.

Join The Discussion

Comments 30

  1. MandyMable8

    For those who take some ADHD meds, I thought that I heard citric acid negates the properties in their medication. Basically, stimulants (except vyvanse) will be washed out if you use citric acid (the most common preservative used in the US) or ascorbic acid (vitamin C). Do your own research though. I haven’t gotten my PhD or doctorate yet, so this may be old information that needs updating.

  2. A

    If anyone wondering about Ingredients: Dextrose, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Citric Acid, Silicon Dioxide (Anti-Caking) Allergens & Warnings: CONTAINS NO SULFITES.

  3. Angie M.

    Does anyone know if this has any flavor? I mean will it change the flavor of food?

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      I didn’t notice it. Maybe a little like citrus since citic acid is ingredient. Hope that helps.

  4. Roro82

    Whoever wants something more natural, just put in a slice or piece of onion and it will not turn brown 🙂

    • Angie M.

      For the guacamole, you can use seran wrap very tight and touching the guacamole 🙂

    • DebJ

      Yep! I put a slice of onion on top of the guacamole, put the lid on and it stays green for 3-5 days.

      • Sue

        I would rather do the onion. At least there’s no chemicals.

        • Brian

          Please don’t use the word “chemical” as a pejorative! Everything around you and in you is a “chemical”. Water is a chemical, protein, starch, etc… are chemicals.
          Fruit Fresh is basically refined lemon juice. Lemons contain lots of citric acid and some ascorbic acid (vitamin C). The thing lemons have that Fruit Fresh doesn’t is the volatile lemon oil. Sometimes you want the anti browning but you don’t want it to taste like lemon. That’s why you use Fruit Fresh.

  5. Angie M.

    Can I get the recipe for the caramel dip please?

  6. ashroosen

    Opal apples don’t turn brown after being cut!

    • Lori

      Really? That’s interesting!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Oh I’ll have to try those thanks!

  7. Shawna

    I was interested until I seen Citric axid. My son is actually alergic to citric acid.

  8. Sandy

    I’ve used fruit fresh for years. I slice up apples for my boy’s lunches and sprinkle a little. At lunch time they are still white. I have also used it on guacamole, my family loves guacamole so much I rarely have it left over though😉.

  9. ifoundit

    I need to add this top to “cookbook”

  10. Happy Aunt

    If I’m taking sliced apples somewhere I will make a rinse of water with some lemon juice to toss them into before putting them on the platter etc. A cheaper, all natural alternative.

  11. SaraJC

    Cut some fresh onion, put inside a container, put your avocado on top of onion and it should last a good couple days looking like you just sliced it 👍🏻😊Make sure to put lid on.
    Or slice your avocado and put in freezer if you have too many and don’t know what to do with them. Then take out when you want to blend a salsa or for smoothies😜

  12. SaraJC

    Oh and make sure avocado shell touches onion, since you don’t want your avocado to have an onion taste! That would be my tip if you prefer to not use the ball fruit fresh.

    • Mandy H

      can I confirm. So if avocado is cut in half and I put in a dish piece of onion on the skin side and close lid it will not get brown by next day??? Thank you.

  13. pjpires

    I certainly don’t any onion near my sliced apples

  14. Christine

    Omg. I have never heard of this stuff. I have always squirted lemon juice on cut apples, which is very tart. And the onion hack for avacados is awesome. Thank you so much.

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Oh sure – thanks for stopping by!

  15. Mom2Boyz

    I soak my apple slices in salt water for at least 5-10 minutes. About 1/2 tsp of kosher salt for every cup of water.Drain and dry them with a towel or paper towel. It keeps them from turning brown in my kids’ lunches yet they don’t taste salty at all. You can rinse if you’re afraid of tasting the salt.

    I’ve used the Saran Wrap trick on the guacamole mentioned by Angie M. It works like a charm every time.

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Thanks for sharing your tips!

    • Kate

      Yes! I love using salt too!

  16. Bunny

    Citric acid is excellent for cleaning the scales off the inside of your stovetop or electric kettle. We do it all the time and it looks like new every time!

  17. Marcia Raines

    I’m curious about the shelf life of Fruit Fresh?? Anyone??

  18. kamthorn hill

    can you put fruit-fresh in water and put your fruits into it, and how much to use

  19. Kath

    This product has been around for a very long time. My Mom and Grandmother used it when canning fruit and vegetables preserves, jellies and jams. They preferred it to the apple pectin that is also used for the same reasons. It works great for peaches too.

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