Apples can be a delicious snack, but wouldn’t it be great if they didn’t brown so quickly after being sliced?
Some people use little tricks to get around this problem, like squirting lemon juice on the slices to preserve them longer. And while that works, we don’t all want our apples tasting like nasty, sour lemons. Luckily (or perhaps, unluckily) there is now a controversial solution.
Okanagan Specialty Fruits in Summerland, B.C. recently engineered apples that don’t turn brown, and varieties of the fruit were just approved for sale in the United States. Proponents of these genetically-modified apples say they could slash food waste and enhance convenience. But skeptics are concerned about what exactly is going on behind the scenes to prevent these fruits from decaying naturally.
To calm some of these concerns, the company producing the apples has revealed that only one gene was altered in the fruit, and that changes were never made to its pest and disease protecting genes (some food crops are genetically modified to produce their own pesticides, which fuels much of the anti-GMO movement).
No matter what your opinion though, it’s going to be a while until the Arctic Golden and Arctic Granny apples are made widely available south of the border (and even longer up here, since the company has yet to get the official nod from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency), as it will take several years for the trees to produce mass quantities of them.
“We can now shift from sort of research and regulatory work to planting trees and getting onto the production of Arctic apples and getting them into the marketplace.” Okanagan Specialty Fruits president and founder Neal Carter says in the video above.
On its website, the company also boasts that “Arctic® apples are identical to their counterparts in every way except browning – so they offer all the same health benefits of other apples.”
For those who are curious about what makes apples brown in the first place, you can check out the video below: