Introducing Nonbrowning Apples
Making the perfect fruit even better
So how’d we “make” nonbrowning Arctic® apples? This modern marriage of nature and science is more straightforward than you may think. In essence, we use an apple’s own genes and some cutting edge innovation to “turn off” the genes that make apples turn brown.
So, why do apples brown in the first place?
Why apples brown
When an apple’s cells are damaged, such as when it’s bitten, sliced, or bruised, an enzyme called polyphenol oxidase (PPO) initiates a chemical reaction that results in the apple’s flesh turning brown. While there’s more than one type of apple browning, this primary form is called “enzymatic” or “oxidative” browning.
Arctic® apples have less PPO
Since we know PPO causes enzymatic browning, our scientists knew the best way to make nonbrowning apples was to reduce their PPO content. So, our highly skilled team did just that by utilizing the science of biotechnology. Check out our infographic describing the process to see how we do it and visit our company website to learn more about agricultural biotechnology!
Distinctly nonbrowning apples
Different apple varieties, and even individual apples of the same variety, don’t all have the exact same levels of PPO. You may have noticed that some apples brown more quickly or slowly than others, but while there are slow-browning and low-browning varieties out there, Arctic® apples are distinctly nonbrowning varieties!
One small change = significant benefits
While having less PPO gives Arctic® varieties their nonbrowning advantage, Arctic® apple trees grow and behave just the same as other apple trees. And, the fruit is just as healthy and has no new proteins. And even though an Arctic® Granny has the same nutritional content as a conventional Granny Smith, Arctic® apple varieties don’t experience the browning reaction, which typically “burns up” healthful nutrients such as vitamin C and antioxidants.
Judging fruits’ true quality
So what’s the catch? Perhaps since Arctic® apples don’t undergo enzymatic browning they disguise old or damaged fruit? Nope, just the opposite in fact! Arctic® apples eventually rot just like other apples, and will show browning that results from fungal or bacterial infection. And since Arctic® varieties show meaningful discoloration like this, but won’t show superficial browning and bruising, Arctic® apples make it easier to judge the true quality of the fruit!
Of course, while reduced PPO is an extremely precise change and results in a clear, simple enhancement, there is plenty of scientific understanding and due diligence that has gone into their development. It’s pretty cool stuff, so if you’re looking for more in-depth information, check out okspecialtyfruits.com for more info, especially our blog posts delving into the science behind Arctic® apples.