SUMMERLAND, BC - Okanagan Specialty Fruits (OSF) announced that it has successfully completed the first commercial harvest of its non-browning Arctic® Golden apple variety. The GMO apples will be sold as fresh sliced apples in test markets across North America in early 2017.
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"We are pleased to see over 20 years of hard work and effort coming to fruition with this first commercial harvest of our Arctic® Golden variety," said Neal Carter, founder and president of Okanagan Specialty Fruits.
"With growing industry and consumer interest in the advantages our solution brings, we eagerly anticipate seeing our freshly sliced apples in grocery stores, supermarkets, and kitchens across the United States and Canada."
The Company also announced the completion of its 70,000 tree planting goal for 2016 including both Arctic® Golden and Arctic® Granny varieties, and currently has 300,000 and 500,000 trees under contract in North America for planting in 2017 and 2018, respectively. Cumulatively, at maturity, these trees will produce over 30 million pounds of GMO apples on an annual basis.
Furthermore OSF has begun plans for planting in North America in 2019 and beyond, as well as additional international markets pending further regulatory approvals.
In Arctic® varieties the expression of polyphenol oxidase (PPO), the enzyme involved in oxidative browning, is virtually eliminated. As a result, the GMO apples do not brown when bruised, bitten or cut, yet will still show discoloration from bacterial or fungal infections and rot just like any other apple.
OSF's GMO apples have been reviewed and approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Health Canada (HC).
OSF also recently received deregulation of the Arctic® Fuji variety in the U.S. from USDA.
For more on its two decade journey to reach this first commercial harvest see OSF's "It's Just the Beginning" video.
Source Okanagan Specialty Fruits
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