How to Stop Fruit & Vegetable Oxidation


Whether you are preserving fruits and vegetables from your garden or just want them to look their best fresh on the dinner table, oxidation must be avoid. Oxidation causes produce to brown or get a reddish hue that is sometimes referred to as rust. While harmless, it makes the fruits and vegetables look unappealing. Preventing oxidation and discoloration before canning, freezing or placing in a serving bowl ensures your produce looks as good as it tastes.


Step 1

Crush 500 mg vitamin C tablets with a mortar and pestle. If you don't have a pestle, place tablets in a bowl and crush with the back of a large spoon.

Step 2

Place three crushed tablets in a quart of water. Stir until it dissolves completely in the water.

Step 3

Dip fruit slices in the vitamin C water for 1 minute. Remove and drain off the excess water.

Step 4

Can or freeze as usual. If serving fruit that day, leave in the vitamin water until right before you bring it to the table.


Step 1

Fill a large pot with water. Heat to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil 1 gallon of water for every 1 pound of vegetables.

Step 2

Prepare a bowl of cold water while the pot is coming to a boil. Fill it with water and add five or six ice cubes to keep it cold.

Step 3

Place the prepared vegetables in a square of cheesecloth and tie it closed. Submerge the packet of vegetables in the boiling water to blanch.

Step 4

Boil vegetables for three to five minutes, boiling thick or woody vegetables longer than soft or small ones. Time the boiling time from the moment the water returns to a boil after adding the vegetables.

Step 5

Remove the cheesecloth bag from the water and submerge in the ice water so it immediately stops the cooking process. The brief boiling period kills off the enzymes that cause oxidation without cooking the vegetables.

Step 6

Serve vegetables immediately or preserve by freezing or canning.

Things You'll Need

  • Vitamin C tablets
  • Mortar and pestle
  • Bowl
  • Spoon
  • Pot
  • Ice
  • Cheesecloth


  • University of Wisconsin Extension: Freezing Fruits and Vegetables
Keywords: fruit and vegetable oxidation, stopping food discoloration, preserving garden produce

About this Author

Jenny Harrington is a freelance writer of more than five years' experience. Her work has appeared in "Dollar Stretcher" and various blogs. Previously, she owned her own business for four years, selling handmade items online, wholesale and via the crafts fair circuit. Her specialties are small business, crafting, decorating and gardening.