The Alchemy of Citrus

The Alchemy of Citrus

Citrus juices, such as Twisted Alchemy’s 100% Eureka Lemon Cold Pressed Juice, 100% Persian Lime Cold Pressed Juice, 100% Valencia Orange Cold Pressed Juice, and 100% Marsh Grapefruit Cold Pressed Juice, are often used as natural preservatives to keep fruits from oxidizing or turning brown. Oxidation occurs when oxygen molecules interact with enzymes and other compounds in the fruit, causing a chemical reaction that changes the color, texture, and flavor of the fruit. The process of oxidation is accelerated when fruits are cut or peeled, exposing more surface area to the air. This tragic process will be familiar to anyone who has ever cut open a perfect avocado to discover that its other half has turned from a bright green to a rotten brown color. 

What is the science behind the alchemy that gives citrus this seemingly magical power? Citrus juice contains a high concentration of ascorbic acid, also known as vitamin C, which acts as an antioxidant. Antioxidants are substances that prevent oxidation by neutralizing free radicals, unstable molecules that can damage cells and cause diseases. In the presence of oxygen, ascorbic acid in citrus juice reacts with free radicals and prevents them from reacting with other compounds in the fruit. This is a similar process to that which is happening in your body when vitamin C works to fight free radicals affecting your immune system. This reaction creates a protective barrier that slows down the process of oxidation.

Additionally, citrus juice lowers the pH level of the fruit, making it more acidic. When the pH level is low, the enzymes responsible for browning reactions in fruits are inhibited. This means that the natural browning process, which is caused by the enzyme polyphenol oxidase, is slowed down or even stopped. By reducing the activity of polyphenol oxidase, citrus juice prevents the formation of brown pigments and maintains the natural color of the fruit.

The last element of this incredible magic trick performed by citrus is the way the citrus juice coats the surface of the fruit. When fruits are cut or peeled, the exposed surface comes into contact with oxygen in the air, which triggers the process of oxidation. However, when citrus juice is applied to the surface of the fruit, it forms a protective layer that shields the fruit from oxygen and slows down the process of oxidation. This is because the citric acid in citrus juice reacts with the air and forms a thin layer of citric acid esters, which create a barrier that prevents oxygen from reaching the fruit.

Because these processes depend on the natural powers of citrus fruits, it is essential that pure citrus juices are used. Lemon juices that are full of sugar will not be able to unlock their power to rescue cut fruit from its untimely, oxidation death. Since Twisted Alchemy’s juices are 100% pure with no additives, they are the perfect at-home solution for preserving fruits and preventing food waste. Using citrus juice to preserve fruits is not only a natural and healthy way to keep produce fresh at home or at your business, but also a cost-effective alternative to commercial preservatives that ruin the flavor and natural goodness of produce. Next time you’re making a big batch of guac that you don’t want to watch turn brown, grab your Twisted Alchemy 100% Eureka Lemon Cold Pressed Juice or Twisted Alchemy 100% Persian Lime Cold Pressed Juice and let the alchemy do the work.

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