Summerland, B.C. -- Okanagan Specialty Fruits Inc.’s (OSF) third nonbrowning GM Arctic apple variety, Arctic Fuji, has been approved by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Health Canada (HC). The CFIA and HC announced that the Arctic Fuji variety “did not pose a greater risk to human health than apples currently available on the Canadian market. In addition, Health Canada also concluded that the Arctic Fuji apple would have no impact on allergies, and that there are no differences in the nutritional value of the Arctic Fuji apple compared to other traditional apple varieties available for consumption”. Arctic Fuji trees will join the growing commercial orchards of Arctic Golden and Arctic Granny apples in spring 2018.
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“Canadian approval of the nonbrowning Arctic Fuji is great news for our company and even more exciting for families looking to add another favorite apple variety to their healthy diets and lifestyles,” explained Neal Carter, President of OSF. “There has been very strong interest from retailers as we launched our first product – fresh, preservative free Arctic Golden slices – and we look forward to introducing additional Arctic nonbrowning varieties into Canada and U.S. markets soon.”
GM Arctic apples have a unique trait that prevents enzymatic browning even when apples are bitten, sliced, or bruised. Through biotechnology, the enzyme in apples responsible for browning has been turned off. The resulting nonbrowning advantage benefits every sector of the supply chain, reducing food waste and boosting product appeal.
“It’s an exciting time at OSF. For a very long time, apple lovers have been looking forward to enjoying nonbrowning Arctic apples as a convenient and healthy snack option. With this past fall’s U.S. launch we were finally able to deliver just that,” stated Carter. “This latest announcement allows us to continue looking ahead toward providing new nonbrowning varieties and additional value-added fruits and vegetables. Arctic apples are just the beginning for OSF.”
The announcement follows approval by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS) of the Arctic Fuji variety, granted September 23, 2016. GM Arctic apples will also be available commercially in select U.S. cities this fall and in additional areas of North America over the coming years as fruit availability increases.
SOURCE Okanagan Specialty Fruits Inc.
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