Browning (food Process) - Enzymatic Browning

Enzymatic Browning

Enzymatic browning is a chemical process, involving polyphenol oxidase, catechol oxidase and other enzymes that create melanins and benzoquinone from natural phenols, resulting in a brown color. Enzymatic browning generally requires exposure to oxygen, thus the browning that occurs when an apple, for example, is cut.

Enzymatic browning can be beneficial for:

  • Developing flavor in tea
  • Developing color and flavor in dried fruit such as figs and raisins.

Enzymatic browning is often detrimental to:

  • Fresh fruit and vegetables, including apples, potatoes and bananas
  • Seafood such as shrimp

A variety of techniques exist for preventing enzymatic browning, each exploiting a different aspect of the biochemical process.

  • Lemon juice and other acids lower the pH and remove the copper cofactor necessary for the responsible enzymes to function
  • Blanching to denature enzymes and destroy responsible reactants
  • Low temperatures can also prevent enzymatic browning by reducing rate of reaction.
  • Inert gas, like nitrogen, prevent necessary oxygen from reacting
  • Chemicals such as sodium bisulfite and citrates

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Famous quotes containing the word browning:

    And all night long we have not stirred,
    And yet God has not said a word!
    —Robert Browning (1812–1889)