The Effects of Dissolved Table Sugar on the Browning of Apple Slices

Authors

  • Tim Chan

Abstract

Sugar has historically been used as a food preservative. Usually, the article of food is
covered in sugar either in a solid or liquid form. For example, both Akkadians and ancient
Greeks would preserve fruit by mixing it with honey (Nummer, 2002; Chavis, 2019), forming
what we know as a jam and/or jelly today. The preservation works because sugar is a humectant
(Dowse), reducing the water content inside the food through osmosis, and interferes with enzyme
activity (Scientific American, 2006). In this experiment, different concentrations of sugar were
tested to see if they reduced polyphenol oxidase (PPO) oxidation - better known as browning - in
apple slices. Four treatment groups were used - 250ml of tap water, 250ml of water with 1tbsp of
table sugar dissolved, 250ml of water with 3tbsp of sugar dissolved, and 250ml of water with
6tbsp of sugar dissolved. Apple slices were then submerged in the sugar water treatments. The
amount of browning was recorded over 24 hours based on percentage cover of browning and
darkness of browning. Significant differences were found using an ANOVA test and a post hoc
Tukey’s test found that the mean comparisons involving plain tap water were statistically
different whereas mean comparisons between the groups with sugar water were not. This
suggests that sugar is a preservative in dilute forms and that sugar concentration has little effect
on fruit browning.

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Published

2021-07-22

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Section

Articles