Apple Experiment

Fall is coming, which means apple season is right around the corner. We love eating apple slices as a healthy snack. Try out this apple experiment with some basic kitchen goods to see how you can keep your slices from browning!

  1. Ages: 5 - 11

  2. <30 minutes

  3. A little messy

  4. Grownup needed


Materials you'll need

Step-by-step tutorial

  • Step 1

    Cut the apples into eight slices each. If needed, have an adult assist with this step!

    Photo reference of how to complete step 1

  • Step 2

    Place 2-3 wedges in five separate bowls and cover the apples with each of the liquids: water, baking soda, lemon juice, milk, white vinegar. 

    Photo reference of how to complete step 2

  • Tip

    Place three spoonfuls of baking soda in water to make a baking soda solution. Make your predictions-- what do you think will happen to each of the apple mixtures? One of these solutions will prevent the apples from oxidizing (or turning brown!). Which solution do you think it is and why? Let the apples sit, and check up on them the next day. Were your guesses correct?

  • Final result!

    What's going on? When apples are cut, an enzyme (polyphenol oxidase), that reacts with oxygen, is released-- causing the apple to turn brown. Lemon juice is full of ascorbic acid, which will react with oxygen before the enzymes in the apple. Lemon juice also is very acidic, about 2.0 pH, and the enzyme in the apple oxidizes in environments between 5.0-7.0 pH. Can you find other acidic ingredients that could prevent apples from browning?

    Photo reference of how to complete step 3

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