SUMMERLAND, B.C. — Okanagan Specialty Fruits Inc., developer of the genetically modified, non-browning Arctic apples, introduced its fresh apple slices to the food service industry at a recent Produce Marketing Association show in Monterey, Calif.
“It’s exciting for us to exhibit at the PMA food service show for the first time and to give attendees the opportunity to experience the orchard freshness of Arctic Golden fresh slices,” said J.F. Gamelin, OSF director of sales.
With a 28-day shelf life compared to an 18- to 21-day shelf life for conventional apple slices, Arctic apples help reduce unnecessary food waste, Gamelin said.
Neil Carter, OSF president, said the company expects to have 8 million pounds of apples from this fall’s harvest. That will be enough, for the first time, to expand the company's slices into the food service industry.
The company plans to continue expansion into retail markets this fall. It sold in about 400 markets across the country from the 2018 crop and on Amazon.
The apples are genetically modified to prevent browning when sliced, bitten or bruised. It was done by silencing a gene and reducing the enzyme polyphenol oxidase. That allows OSF to tout its fresh and dried sliced apples as preservative-free. Other manufacturers of fresh and dried sliced apples use chemical additives to prevent browning, but they can alter flavor.
The fruit is grown on 1,235 acres at undisclosed locations in Washington.