New Anti-Browning Formula Prevents Browning Of Fresh-Cut Produce

California Polytechnic State University has developed an anti-browning formula to prevent enzymatic browning that affects the aesthetic quality of fresh-cut fruits and vegetables. The product also reduces the growth of aerobic bacteria, yeasts, and molds significantly. The multi-functional formula is an alternative to current anti-browning methods that focus solely on the appearance of food products. In addition, the formula is effective in ambient conditions – special packaging is not required.


The anti-browning formula extends the shelf-life of produce via a combination of calcium ascorbate, calcium propionate, and calcium chloride. The formula is the result of more than 400 tests and four years of research conducted by Wyatt Brown and his team in Cal Poly’s Horticulture & Crop Science Department in the College of College of Agriculture, Food & Environmental Sciences.

The formula, when applied to pre-cut Granny Smith and Fuji apples, prevented browning and the growth of aerobic bacteria, yeasts, and molds for a minimum period of 21 days. It has also been shown to be highly effective at preventing the browning of other sliced fruits and vegetables.

In June 2015, Cal Poly was granted a U.S. patent for the anti-browning/antimicrobial composition (U.S. Patent Number 9,044,045). Cal Poly is actively seeking licensees to commercialize the formula.

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Avatar for Virginia Johnson Virginia Johnson says:

Is it going to be OK for use in certified organic systems?

Avatar for Ryan Eby Ryan Eby says:

When I looked a few years ago, when processing organic fruit you could add most preservatives and still label it as organic. They weren’t considered an ingredient themselves like having a mix of organic and non-organic produce, sugar, etc is. That might have changed. Also note that almost all anti-browning is for preprocessed fruit that has been cut already, not something like the arctic that is meant to be sliced by the consumer. The anti-mold and yeast might help shelf life for both uncut and cut. If you want to ask your certifier the USPTO application states it is made up of calcium ascorbate, calcium propionate, and calcium chloride. It also has an antibrowning enzyme which they do a large list so it isn’t obvious which one they are using and in what amount.

Avatar for Brad Averill Brad Averill says:

So what would you prefer. A non-browning apple using this formula (but no genetic engineering) or a non-browning apple using genetic engineering (no foreign dna and no chemicals applied)? I know, I know. You are ok with eating brown apples. But most people are not.