Watermelon fruit product from Spain with shop barcode label, UK. (Photo by: Geography Photos/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
Why You Need To Be Careful Peeling Off The Stickers On Your Fruit
By Patrick Bauman
It might be tempting to peel off the pesky stickers from your fruit after grocery shopping, but it's best to leave them alone until you're ready to eat the piece of fruit.
Removing the gluey stickers often removes a bit of fruit skin as well. This blemish might look minor, but given time, it will lead to browning and speed up the rotting process.
When you break a fruit's skin while attempting to peel off the sticker, you set off a chemical reaction that drastically speeds up decomposition and browning.
This is the result of a mixture of polyphenol oxidase (PPO) and oxygen. When oxidized, PPO converts phenolic compounds into melanin and immediately discolors the affected area.
While some fruits are genetically modified to never bruise, most pieces will develop some level of browning, which still means the fruit is perfectly safe to eat.
Bruised areas usually have an undesirable, mushy texture. While not an immediate concern, the soft, moist tissue of a bruised area can eventually foster mold and bacteria growth.