Profile of Neil Carter, entrepreneur behind non-browning Arctic Apple

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Apple flesh, which begins to decay the moment it’s exposed to air or is jostled too brusquely in a crate, could be seen as a disaster for the apple industry. . . .

It could be the reason why . . . the apple is one of the most wasted fruits of all time. More than 40 per cent of what’s harvested is tossed to the ground or into the garbage at any number of stops en route from tree to mouth, [Neal Carter, president of Okanagan Specialty Fruits] says. . .

Carter says he used to spend a lot of time thinking about those problems and was always on the lookout for a way to stop the browning.

Then, in 1995, he says he heard about a study . . . where some scientists . . . mapped genes associated with Polyphenoloxidase (PPO), an enzyme that initiates the browning reaction in certain fruits and vegetables. . .

Carter bit right into the project of creating a non-browning apple. And his teeth are still clamped down tight. Even despite the hurdles. . . from getting the gene to work . . . to battling the anti-GMO movement.

In 1999, activists destroyed 650 trees in his Summerland orchard (they were conventional Gala apple trees, not GMO trees of any sort).

But things have changed since then, he says, especially since earlier this year when he got the call from regulators telling him his two decades of work — and five years trying to win regulatory approval so his apples could be eaten — had come to a close.

“That was an absolutely crazy day,” he says. “We celebrated.”

Since, his tiny company. . . has been aggressively planting Arctic trees and taking their apples on the road.

Read full, original post: Why this apple is being called a game changer

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