Oxidation And Browning Of Foods

Oxidation And Browning Of Foods

Oxidation is a natural process that occurs in food items. Have you ever noticed what happens to an apple after it has been cut? If you leave it out for some time, then the apple turns brown this process is called oxidation. It mainly happens because of the oxygen content in the food is reacting with other chemicals and gases in the air. It is a chemical process and is also called enzymatic browning.

This type of browning can be seen in several kinds of fruits and vegetables. Some of them are apricots, pears, bananas and grapes. Even vegetables like potatoes, mushrooms and lettuce go through this process. Meats like shrimps, lobsters and crabs also get oxidized.

The process of oxidation can be detrimental to the quality of the food and can cause several losses. In the food industry, nearly 50% of the losses are attributed to the process of oxidation. For some type of foods, the enzymatic browning is essential like tea, coffee and chocolates. It enhances the color and the taste of these products. In order to cause the brown color, polyphenols are used. These compounds are also found naturally in plants and you can find them in fruits like apples, grapes and apricots. Even some beverages like apple juice use this process to gain the rich color.

However, eating foods that have been oxidized has its own health disadvantages and that is why it is not advisable. Most of the foods prepared through this browning process are not good for health.

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Oxidation And Browning Of Foods