Have you ever bitten into an apple and then thought, “This isn’t for me.” And then, instead of throwing it away, you just leave it on the counter, waiting for someone else to eat it? As the punctured apple sits there, it starts to decay and turn brown, ensuring no one will eat it. Well, there’s good news for those finicky eaters out there, because Canadian geneticists have developed an apple that will never turn brown once its sliced into.
The Canadian company Okanagan Specialty Fruits produces and plans to sell Golden Delicious and Granny Smith varieties of this special breed of apple that will never decay. Their geneticists have found the enzyme, called polyphenol oxidase, which is responsible for the browning of an apple, and has removed it from future bushels. They call this invincible apple an Arctic Apple and plan to sell it in the U.S..
But there’s a speed bump in their plans, because environmental groups and apple growers in the States are deeply opposed to this Frankensteinian fruit. They feel that making an “artificial” apple that won’t brown stampedes the idea of an apple being a healthy snack. Christian Schlect, the president of the Northwest Horticultural Council, says they have no plans to sell them in Washington State.
But Okanagan Specialty Fruits president and co-founder Neal Carter believes this is a good thing for apples and apple consumers. He claims an Arctic Apple could boost apple sales, which have been dwindling through the years. Carter says, “For many people [a whole apple is] too big a commitment. If you had a bowl of apples at a meeting, people wouldn’t take an apple out of the bowl. But if you had a plate of apple slices, everyone would take a slice.”
The big question here is, if an apple doesn’t brown then how will you know if it’s rotten?