Okanagan Specialty Fruits (OSF) is gearing up for the first commercial crop of its non-browning apples this autumn.
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 being trialed through consumer research and taste tests 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.
The apples will be available in a few dozen stores from October to December, or until supplies run out.
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