It’s officially autumn, and that means it’s also apple season! While most of us love fall apples, what consumers DON’T love is how quickly they can grow brown and mushy once cut.
That’s why Okanagan, a Canadian ag biotech company, has pioneered an exciting solution: a non-browning biotech apple. A new article in Fruitnet highlights the Arctic Apple, coming this fall.
Marketed under the Arctic Apples brand, the genetically modified fruit, which is engineered to resist browning when sliced, has already caused quite a stir in the US since going on sale at trial stores earlier this year.
The apples have been engineered using a gene silencing technique to dramatically reduce the production of polyphenol oxidase (PPO), an enzyme that triggers the chemical reaction that causes browning when the fruit is sliced or bruised.
According to OSF, a small agricultural biotech company based in Summerland, British Columbia, this is a precise change that doesn’t alter the other characteristics of the fruit.
Three non-browning varieties have been approved for sale in the US: Golden, Granny and Fuji. Gala is next in line, with additional varieties being introduced further ahead.
This season the apples will be available in 10oz grab-n-go bags but other value-added formats are also under development. “This format best highlights the product’s unique non-browning and preservative-free trait and provides consumers with the convenience factor they really desire,” says Carter. “Moreover, studies show that children consume apples at dramatically higher rates if they are sliced.”
Non-browning apples are an important development for consumers, making apples a more convenient snack. And, they can help cut down on food waste!
Arctic Apples will be available in select stores beginning in October, so look for them in a store near you!