First genetically modified non-browning apples in Midwest stores by February
January 11, 2017 | Capital Press
A small amount of Arctic brand sliced and packaged Golden Delicious, produced by Okanagan Specialty Fruits of Summerland, B.C., will be in 10 stores this February and March, said Neal Carter, the company’s founder and president. He would not identify the retailers, saying that’s up to them.
Carter reduced the enzyme polyphenol oxidase to prevent browning when apples are sliced, bitten or bruised. The apples match the industry norm of not browning for three weeks after slicing but without using flavor-altering, chemical additives that the rest of the fresh-sliced apple industry uses.
Golden Delicious, Granny Smith and Fuji varieties have been approved by the USDA and Canada. An Arctic Gala could be approved in 2018. Only Goldens and Granny Smiths have been planted long enough to produce fruit in commercial quantities by next fall.
About 500, 40-pound boxes of sliced apples will be sold in grab-and-go pouch bags, he said.
A QR computer scan code on the packaging enables consumers to get information, including that the apple slices are genetically modified, but nothing directly on the packing identifies it.
The first commercial test marketing will provide the company with consumer preferences on packaging and price and other information including purchase motivations. Survey data will be used to help the company decide its fall 2017 commercial launch strategy.
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