Skip to main content

Apple Flesh Changes When Exposed to Air

After an apple is split open and exposed to oxygen, the flesh slowly turns brown as the oxygen starts to combine with the elements and compounds in the apple. This process is called oxidation and can have different effects based on the type of apple it is and its specific contents. In the picture and the video, you can see the flesh turning brown as it continues to be exposed to the oxygen in the room. If the apple flesh was exposed to an environment with less oxygen flow then this process would have taken longer.

Waterloo, Iowa

Driving Question

What causes an apple to change colors after it’s spit open?

Probing Questions

  • As you watch the video, what do you notice happening to the apple?
  • Do you think that different kinds of apples turn brown faster than others? Why?
  • How can we change the apple’s environment to slow the browning process?

Classroom Activities

Students could:

  • Compare different types of apples with different chemical contents to see which one browns faster. (Ex: organic vs non-organic or Granny Smith vs Golden delicious).
  • Set up an investigation for children to slit open two of the same kind of apple but keep them in different environments. Check on them every 15 minutes and see which one experiences browns the fastest (Ex: one in the fridge and one by the window).


Iowa Core Alignment


Construct an argument with evidence that some changes caused by heating or cooling can be reversed and some cannot

Credit Info

Submitted by Allison Dailey and Zoey Jones.

REAPCorporation for Public BroadcastingAlliant EnergyMusco Lighting Pella