In this study, the use of chitosan as a clarification agent in the production of clear apple juice (AJ) was investigated, the optimum conditions were determined using RSM, and the effects on the quality of AJ were analyzed during storage at 4 degrees C and 20 degrees C for 4 months. Optimum conditions for clarifying the AJ were chitosan concentration of 191.6 mg/100 ml juice, the process temperature of 20 degrees C and process time of 30 min. Changes in quality characteristics such as turbidity, pH, acidity, color, total monomeric anthocyanin, total phenolic, and protein contents were evaluated and compared to traditional clarification. Alicyclobacillus acidoterrestris causes significant safety issues in fruit juice industry; therefore also the antimicrobial effect of chitosan on A. acidoterrestris during the clarification process was examined. The results showed that clear AJ production can be achieved by the clarification step with direct chitosan addition, without the need for enzymatic treatment. However, the microbial reduction of A. acidoterrestris during the clarification process was not found to be significant. (C) 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.