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When you cut open an apple it doesn’t look good for very long does it? After even just a few minutes an apple can start to look brown inside. The apple turns brown because you cut the apple open and exposed what’s inside the apple skin to the air, which has oxygen in it. Oxidation is a chemical reaction that takes place when a substance combines with oxygen. When apple flesh combines with oxygen it turns brown. The browning of the apple is called oxidation.
Another kind of oxidation you probably have seen is rust. When metal comes in contact with oxygen a chemical reaction takes place – oxidation. In this case the result of oxidation is rust.
What You Need:
- 3 Apple Slices
- 1 Orange Slice
- 1/2 Cup Orange Juice
- 3 Small Plates
- Carmel Dip and the Rest of the Apple Slices (optional)
Put one apple slice on each plate. One apple slice leave alone. Pour the orange juice over one apple slice, pour orange juice over one apple slice and lay the orange slice on top of the last apple slice. Wait a couple hours. How do the apple slices compare? Which one is the most brown?
Here are some websites and books to help you understand oxidation:
- Science With Kids: Oxidation 
- Discovery Kids: Brown Bananas 
- Science Rocks Oxidation Station (pages 32-33)
- Kitchen Science Experiments: Hey, Apple! Orange You Glad to See Me? (pages 51-52)
Oxidation – A chemical reaction that happens when a substance combines with oxygen.