How’d we “make” a nonbrowning apple?

When my friends find out about my work with Arctic® apples, invariably one of the first questions they ask is: How’d we do that? That is, how’d we “make” a nonbrowning apple? Here’s what I tell them:

First, a quick biochemistry lesson.  When the cell of a typical apple is ruptured – for example, by biting, slicing or bruising – polyphenol oxidase (PPO) found in one part of the cell mixes with polyphenolics found in another part of the cell. (PPO is a plant enzyme. Polyphenolics are one of the many types of chemical substrates that serve various purposes, including supplying its aroma and flavor.) When PPO and polyphenolics mix, brown-toned melanin is left behind.

Arctic® apples produce practically no PPO so that enzymatic browning reaction never occurs.  This means Arctic® apples’ polyphenols aren’t burned up when the apple is bitten, sliced, or otherwise bruised. No chemical reaction, no yucky brown apple left behind. arctic-vs-regular-apple_0So how’d we “make” a nonbrowning apple? The small number of genes  (four, to be exact) that control PPO production were identified several years back, when the apple’s genome was mapped. To create a nonbrowning Arctic® version of an existing apple variety, our science team uses gene silencing to turn down the expression of PPO, which virtually eliminates PPO production, so the fruit doesn’t brown. This genetic transformation is aided by modern science tools. (We’ll explain what we mean by “modern science tools” in a later post.)

This transformation takes place in a laboratory in a petri dish, with a small sample of apple tissue. We confirm the genetic transformation was successfully completed before growing the tissue out into a tiny plantlet and eventually moving it to an orchard. (We’ll explain how we confirm the transformation in a later post, too.)

Personally, I was amazed to find out how “simple” this transformation process is. (I put the word in quotes out of deference to the head of our science team, Dr. John Armstrong, who knows best how much hard work and brain power went into making this process look simple to me.)

The end result of all this science is just an apple tree, now with very low PPO production to prevent enzymatic browning in its fruit. Our Arctic® apple trees grow and behave in the orchard, blossom and bear fruit just like their conventional counterparts. We’ve got almost 10 years of test orchard experience to document that. Arctic® apples are also compositionally and nutritionally similar to conventional apples, further indicating that lower levels of PPO aren’t consequential to the tree or the fruit. It’s only when one of our apples is bitten, sliced or cut that the Arctic® apple difference becomes clear.

What role does PPO play in the plant, you might ask? In some plants, PPO plays a defensive role – for example, tomatoes produce high levels of PPO when attacked by pests or pathogens. In contrast, apples produce very low levels of PPO, and only in very young fruit.  Its presence is probably left over from apples of ages ago, playing no role in today’s apples.

I always close my talk with friends with this intriguing sidebar to the story: When eaten by humans, polyphenolics may have health-promoting benefits. For example, phenolics are believed to act as antioxidants, fighting the well-documented damaging effects that oxidation can have on the heart, other organs and throughout the body. Not enough is known yet about phenolics for the health community to suggest a recommended intake amount, as for other vitamins and nutrients such as Vitamin C (the best-known antioxidant), fiber and so on – but they are certainly worth watching!


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Comments

  1. Anonymous

    WOW, it is amazing what you can do with biotechnology these days. I was just wondering if you would be able to put up a flow chart so that we can see the process visually? Thanks for the great infomation, it really helped with my assesment. 🙂 

    • Joel

      Hi, thanks for your comment! That’s a great idea and is actually something we’ve been wanting to do for some time now. We hope to add a new educational section later this year, which will have a flow chart on the transformation process and hopefully lots more visuals in a similar vein.

      In the meantime, we do have a basic flow chart of the process on the OSF site here: http://www.okspecialtyfruits.com/our-plant-transformation-process

      We also have a more recent blog entry that goes into a bit more detail on the science tools we use to assist in the process: http://www.arcticapples.com/blog/joel/how-we-introduce-nonbrowning-trait-arctic%C2%AE-apples#.UVCJExeG18E

      If you’d like more info or have any questions, feel free to email us and we’d be happy to provide the answers!

      • Dub

        Brown apples are fine! When was this ever an issue? STOP GENETICALLY ENGINEERING OUR FOOD! We don’t want our children to eat your poison!

        • Jessica Brady

          Hi Dub! After 10 years of field trials and having been deemed safe for food consumption and the environment by CFIA, Health Canada, USDA APHIS and the FDA. we are confident in that Arctic® apples will be a benefit to producers and consumers. You can learn more by reading our USDA APHIS petition which outlines the safety of Arctic® apples here: https://www.aphis.usda.gov/brs/aphisdocs/10_16101p.pdf
          Thanks,

          Jessica

          • Cary

            Instead of GMO food we want the soil restored by stopping the spraying of chemicals. I have studied the history of this scientific meddling with our food, and it came after the dust bowl, despite a thorough study showing all we needed to do to control diseases and fertility was to restore calcium to the soil.

            All of this chemical industry and bioengineering is strictly for profit, and we care about our health and the health of the soil, which is supposed to be alive and support life, not how rich you get.

          • Jessica Brady

            Hello,
            We are excited to offer consumers an product with all the nutrients of conventional apples, plus the convenience of a nonbrowning apple. Arctic® apples use the same amount and kinds of inputs as conventional apples. Soil health is a multifactorial matter, the needs of which vary based on location and management history, and include a variety of care options.
            Arctic® apples were developed by an apple farmer who saw consumption declining, and thought nonbrowning apples would offer a unique solution. Arctic® apples are high quality apples that can help reduce food waste and improve produce consumption, goals we can all get behind.
            Thanks,

            Jessica

  2. Anonymous

    If PPO can protect the plant and helps it fight off bacteria and pesticides and diseases. Just how different is the ammount of bacteria within the apples or how much gathers when sliced?has there been any trials on that? If so I would like to see those results. we all want an apple that doesnt brown but not at the price of the apple not being able to fight off infections.

    • Joel

      Thanks for your question! Arctic apples have been planted in field trials for over a decade, and there has been a great deal of testing and observation of them by third-party horticultural experts. It has been demonstrated that respond to pests just the same as their conventional counterparts, as well as grow at the same rate, require the same inputs, etc. – the only notable difference is when the fruit itself is cut, bitten or bruised! The full dataset on this is publicly available online here: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/brs/aphisdocs/10_16101p.pdf

      Regarding their ability to resist bacterial/fungal infections once cut – Arctic apples can actually better resist infection compared to conventional apples, since the enzymatic browning reaction typically breaks down cell walls and makes the fruit more susceptible to entry by foreign bodies. That said, for commercial sliced apple products, even Arctic apples would still be given an anti-bacterial/fungal wash, just as conventional slices are, but they would not require anti-browning treatments, which often add an off-taste and are quite expensive.

    • Dub

      Speak for yourself! I’ve never had a problem with an apple turning brown. If you’re really that worried about it, spritz a little lemon juice on em. Genetically modified foods are POISON!

      • Jessica Brady

        Hi Dub! If you have any specific questions, please let us know. We are always happy to take part in a respectful conversation.
        Thank you,

        Jessica

  3. Anonymous

    I’m curious–if the apple genome was only completely mapped in 2010, allowing researchers to “turn off” the PPO enzyme, then why do you say that Arctic apples have been grown for a decade?

    • Joel

      Thanks for your question! Even though the full apple genome was completed in 2010, the location of the PPO genes that we specifically target was determined much earlier. We were able to determine the proof of concept for nonbrowning apples around 2000, and have had field trials growing in Washington state since 2003, and NY state since 2005!

    • AnonymousToo

      I’m not in this research group so this may or may not be the right answer but you do not need to map an entire genome to modify one (or a few of them).

  4. Andy

    So if PPO is being inhibited, and it contributes to flavor, one can expect at least a difference in flavor between non-GM Grannies and the Arctic varietal?

    • Joel

      Hi Andy, thanks for your question!

      While polyphenol oxidase (PPO) and polyphenolics have similar sounding names, they are two very different things. PPO is an enzyme, and doesn’t contribute directly to flavor (whereas polyphenolics do), but what it DOES do is cause the browning reaction.

      The browning reaction results in the brown-toned melanin you see when an apple is bruised or the flesh is exposed. Since this reaction causes a decrease in the flavor/taste of the apple, in part by “burning up” the polyphenolic content, a sliced/bruised Arctic apple will indeed taste better. However, the first bite of a fresh, unspoiled Arctic Golden would taste just the same as a conventional Golden Delicious.

      So, one way to put it is that Arctic apples taste the same as the conventional counterparts in general, but better retain their flavor and nutrition.

  5. Frank

    In the second paragraph of your article you state that “Polyphenolics are one of the many types of plant-proteins…” Many years have passed since I studied biochemistry, but at that time phenols were not considered proteins, and I doubt if they are today. Or am I wrong about this? 

    • Joel

      Well spotted Frank! You are correct, and technically, a better definition would be to call polyphenolics a group of chemical substrates. The post has been updated to better reflect this.

    • Joel

      Hi and thanks for your question! Yes – we do use nptII (kanamycin resistance) as a marker gene to assist in the transformation process, but there is NO detectable amount of the NPTII protein in Arctic fruit (nor are there any other novel proteins present). We actually have a blog post dedicated to that very topic, “Exploring the marker gene used in Arctic apples” and also cover the subject in our FAQ if you’d like to learn more.

  6. Michaeljwjr

    Has there been any change in the behaviour of bees in the area around these apple trees? Do these Artic Apples beget other arctic apples? As in can I take an arctic apple, plant it, and grow a tree that produces arctic apples? 

    • Joel

      Hi Michael, thanks for your questions!

      Bee behavior around Arctic apple trees is the exact same as as it would be around any apple trees. Arctic trees grow the same way, respond to pests/weather just the same and don’t required any special treatments. Other than the fact that the fruit doesn’t brown when they’re bitten, sliced or bruised they’re just like any other apple.

      Regarding the potential to grow an Arctic apple tree from Arctic apple seeds, you would not be able to do so. Commercially, all apple orchards are now propagated by grafting, but if you planted an Arctic’s seeds, you would be very unlikely to successfully grow an apple tree in the first place, and even if you did, it would not produce Arctic apples.

  7. aeamonaco

    I wouldn’t have imagined that Artic apples could withstand like that. As an artist implicated in the environnement, i’m always on the look out for new information to provide to our followers and especially if this can avoid throwing out food. I wonder if this fruit can be grown in Europe and/or if a procedure could be incorperated insite the tree itself. People wast good food because of the coloration.

    If we can somehow get argriculture to accept a procedure that would keep fruit from browning for at least 24 hours, then the gain would be substantial.

    • Joel

      Actually, Arctic apples do resist browning for much, much longer than 24hrs and this trait in part of the fruit itself rather than from any additives! As you suggest, this benefit can have a very positive impact in reducing food waste throughout the supply chain, which is one of the main reasons we developed nonbrowning apples.

      Regarding Europe, we are focused on bringing Arctic apples to North American markets first, but other markets are certainly possible in the future.

  8. Gary Smith

    cban has a postcard of sorts that claims; “It was genetically modified by inserting a new genetic sequence into the apple cells with genetic material from apple, as well as from a plant virus and two different bacteria”. I have read the executive summary for the APHIS application and understand that Agrobacterium was used to vector the transformation, and is a common practice in GM, but am unclear on the role of Cauliflower Mosaic Virus. I am guessing that cban is being opportunistic by assuming the ignorance of the average consumer on the details of the process and suspect that no non-apple DNA was transferred to the Arctic Apple in the process as suggested in the postcard. Are you able to elucidate on the matter?

    • Joel

      Hi Gary, thanks for your great question!

      First things first: There is no cauliflower mosaic virus (CaMV) in Arctic apples! What we do use is a a small promoter element of CaMV calls CaMV35s, which is compact, well-defined and commonly used in biotechnology. CaMV35s is a promoter that we use in the transformation process so that gene silencing will occur.

      A rough analogy for how promoters work: the transgene we use to silence polyphenol oxidase (PPO) is the music we want to play, and the promoter is the stereo. You could also say promoters are like the capital letter at the start of a sentence, in that they tell the plant when to start reading the gene’s instructions (to produce less PPO).

      With all this said, even if Arctic fruit did contain CaMV it would not be an issue. Consumers regularly consume CaMV on cruciferous vegetables (such as cauliflower).

      Thanks again for your question and check out a similar post, “How we introduce the nonbrowning trait in Arctic apples” for a bit more on how we use tools like Agrobacterium, markers and promoters to assist in the transformation process.

  9. HealthyandCute

    Apples are one of the few fruits that can withstand the environnement. However, once fallen from the tree, they stand to decompose. The beauty of what we can see with Artic Apples is that this process isn’t visible right away. Due to genetic modification in the genome through biotechnology, engeneers have silenced the gene that is responsable for the expression of polyphenol oxidase. And no problem when it comes to decomposing because it will be visible. I beleive this is a major breakthrough that should be applied to other fruits that are brown and still fresh with a good smell just like other products made by nature. I am in the oil industry and what can be done for the apple could propably be done for the flowers keeping them viable longer and allowing us to process them in a more efficient way. @ http://www.biee-group.com/

  10. Anonymous

    Hello,

    can you please post a map or diagram of the construct used for transformation?  or refer me to a website with that information?  (just the CaMV35S::ppo portion).  I’m teaching my biology class about gene regulation via RNAi-silencing, and I think it would be timely to show how fundamental research into gene silencing can lead to applications.

    Thanks!

    • Joel

      Hi there – thanks for your inquiry!

      There are a couple good diagrams on our transformation in an article Chemical & Engineering News did in 2013 on our Arctic apples.

      We also have a few additional diagrams in the petition we submitted to the USDA requesting deregulation that may be of interest.

      Thanks for your interest and please don’t hesitate to let us know if there’s any other info we can provide that would be of help!

  11. Anonymous

    when growing these apples will cross polination come into the picture? when bees are using these trees will they change the genes of other flowers by bringing those genes into other flowers to make them into articapple flowers/other apple trees?

    • Joel

      Thanks for your question!

      We’ve addressed cross-pollination directly in a few other posts that should provide some insight on this, most directly here. And, we also have an infographic describing apple propagation in a more general sense here

      Likely the most important point, though, is that even if cross-pollination were to occur, the resulting fruit would not be affected. Just as a Gala pollinating with a Fuji does not turn the Fuji into a Gala, an Arctic apple would not turn other apples into Arctic fruit!

  12. Anonymous

    Do you consider your apples to be a Gmo apple? there has been some bad news about gmos and was wondering how this would affect your company. 

    • Joel

      Hi there – due to the use of biotechnology to introduce the nonbrowning trait into our Arctic® apples, they are indeed considered to be GMO. However, there should be no reason for consumer concern, as Arctic®  apples are likely the most tested apples in existence, and have passed through years of rigorous regulatory review.

  13. Erika

    I was just wondering if this nonbrowning trait would affect the cooking of these apples by various methods: baking, frying, or stewing. Is the texture of the flesh similar to that of a Golden Delicious or other yellow varietals? When do you estimate these will be available for public consumption in the U.S.?

    • Joel

      Hi Erika, thanks for your questions and apologies for the belated response!

      Arctic® apples would still experience the caramelization of their sugars when cooked using the methods you mention, though obviously there’d be less of a rush to get the apples in the oven, pan, etc. in order to avoid enzymatic browning from the flesh being exposed to the air.

      The “first bite” texture, taste, etc. on an undamaged Arctic® Golden would be the exact same as a conventional Golden Delicious. The only difference would be after the apple is bruised or sliced, and we actually did some taste testing to get consumers’ reactions in that case. 

      Regarding availability, we anticipate having small, test-market quantities of Arctic® apples available in late 2016, with increasing amounts of fruit becoming more widely available each year going forward. The first two varieties will be Arctic® Golden and Arctic® Granny, with Arctic® Gala and Arctic® Fuji not far behind!

  14. Karen Loftus

    Do you know if the PPO that you removed from the apples had any other function, and could you provide a list of the phytonutrients / polyphenols that the apples do contain, such as those contained in this quote by G. Mateljan?: “Recent research has shown that apple polyphenols can help prevent spikes in blood sugar through a variety of mechanisms. Flavonoids like quercetin found in apples can inhibit enzymes like alpha-amylase and alpha-glucosidase. Since these enzymes are involved in the breakdown of complex carbohydrates into simple sugars, your blood sugar has fewer simple sugars to deal with when these enzymes are inhibited. In addition, the polyphenols in apple have been shown to lessen absorption of glucose from the digestive tract; to stimulate the beta cells of the pancreas to secrete insulin; and to increase uptake of glucose from the blood via stimulation of insulin receptors. All of these mechanisms triggered by apple polyphenols can make it easier for you to regulate your blood sugar.”

    • Joel

      Hello Karen, thanks for your excellent question!

      While Arctic apples have reduced levels of PPO, this change does not negatively impact the phenolic levels of Arctic fruit. In fact, the browning reaction involves a chemical reaction in which PPO interacts with apples compounds which actually “burns up” phenolic content! So, the nonbrowning trait helps Arctic apples better retain their phenolic levels.

      As for other roles PPO may serve, we wrote a post on that very subject earlier this year that we hope you’ll check out. Please don’t hesitate to let us know if you have any additional questions!

  15. Vicki Vance

    I am trying to understand what kind of silencing transgene you are using.  Is this published work?  Are the details of the construct available?  From the diagram you referred to, it seems that you are using sense versions of each of the four genes (it doesn’t say how much or what part of each gene is used).  In addition, there is no indication that this is a “hairpin” construct (i.e. one designed to make double stranded RNA directly).  So am I correct in assuming that your transgene is a sense transgene that has silenced by chance?  have you done any analysis of the siRNAs produced?

    • Joel

      Hi Vicki, thanks for your comment!

      There are additional details, including diagrams, on the makeup of our transgene in petition we submitted to the USDA requesting deregulation.

      Additionally, there is an excellent overview of our construct and transformation process in an article Chemical & Engineering News did in 2013 on our Arctic apples with input from our Research Manager Dr. John Armstrong.

      If you’d like further information beyond what’s accessible at the above links, please feel free to email us directly and I’ll bounce any inquiries off our science team!

      • a.d.

        Based on the research I have read, the jury still out if GMO foods are safe for humans and our planet.  Why be a guinea pig? I prefer organic.  Thank you.

        • Joel

          Hi A.D., thanks for voicing your concerns!

          While there is a great deal of information and misinformation on GMOs out there, the conclusions from the world’s leading science and health bodies all agree – there is no reputable evidence that approved GMOs on the market are any less safe than their conventional/organic counterparts.

          There is a great response to the question “Are GMOs safe?” at this link, and here is a small selection of the answer: 

          “Dozens of the world’s most prestigious scientific bodies, including the National Academies of Science, the American Medical Association and the World Health Organization, have studied genetic engineering for more than 30 years and concluded that such foods are at least as safe as, and often safer than, conventionally bred ones.

          “In 30 years of testing and commercial use in more than two dozen countries, genetically modified foods have caused not a single sniffle, sneeze or bellyache.”

          • Dub

            Yeah, and the FDA says Cannabis is completely useless medically and unsafe for human consumption, yet recently approved slow release meth gummies for children and have continually allowed big money to influence their decisions just like the organizations you mentioned above do. Science is only as good as the people providing the funding to do that science. So, go ahead and look where that money is coming from. GMO is poison and Monsanto is pure evil!

          • Jessica Brady

            Hi Dub! You might be interested in reading the National Academy of Sciences report on Genetically Engineered Crops, which dives deep into potential concerns surrounding GE Crops and examines a wide array of scientific papers to determine a consensus on the safety of genetically engineered crops. You can find that report here: http://www.nap.edu/catalog/23395/genetically-engineered-crops-experiences-and-prospects Please let us know if you have any specific questions, we’re always happy to take part in a respectful conversation.

            Thanks,

            Jessica

  16. Skeptic

    So you’ve altered the apple’s ability to brown in response to oxygen in the air, eliminating the browning that occurs naturally when an apple is bitten into or sliced and then left exposed to air… Has anyone explored whether or not this affects how the polyphenols function in the body itself? As I’m sure you know, the ability for polyphenols and other substances to absorb oxygen is what grants them the status of antioxidants; it’s what gives them the power to reduce oxidation in the body (hence their name). If these particular polyphenols are now engineered to not take up oxygen from the atmosphere, does this mean they might also display reduced antioxidant activity in the body as well?

    This is one of many unanswered questions one can ponder, but it’s one whose absence particularly stands out here given the particular change being introduced to these apples. Please don’t provide the typical industry answer of “there’s no evidence to indicate” that the polyphenols will function differently in the body, which is just another way of saying the question has not been explored scientifically.

    • Joel

      Hello Skeptic & thanks for your question!

      Arctic® apples have the same nutrition, composition, etc. as their conventional counterparts – the only difference is that they have lower levels of the enzyme polyphenol oxidase, aka PPO (which is not the same as polyphenols). That our apples have less PPO has no effect whatsoever on the body’s ability to digest an apple’s phenolic content.

      In fact, the enzymatic browning reaction typically “burns up” an apple’s phenolic content and antioxidants & vitamin C, meaning that Arctic® apples can better retain their original nutrients!

  17. Zach

    I if this apple were to be selectively bread, I would likely eat it. I do not trust GMO products as the Long term simpacts of ecological and human health seem to be tested primarily in the real world. It has consequences to ignore. Studies showing GMO safety are often short term and funded by corporate interest. The food industry is moving away from GMO due to consumer awareness of these issues.

    • Joel

      Hi Zach,

      Thanks for sharing your comments! You are certainly correct that many studies on GMOs are funded my corporations, yet there are also literally hundreds of independently funded, peer-reviewed studies as well. The weight of the scientific evidence is extremely strong, with reputable bodies like the American Medical Association and World Health Organization, to name just a couple, agreeing on the safety of approved biotech crops: http://gmopundit.blogspot.ca/p/450-published-safety-assessments.html

      Our apples in particular are likely the most tested apples on the planet, and it’s been demonstrated they have the same nutrition and composition as other apples. We certainly would not market food that we and our families didn’t feel fully confident eating. However, please do not hesitate to let us know if there are any specific questions or concerns we can help answer!

      • Skeptic

        Does it cost more to grow these apples than it does to grow apples that are naturally less browning? Which company developed this apple and how do they continue to make money year after year? What is the benefit to the grower? Please don’t offer that old chestnut about less food waste. If there was no money to be made, the apple would not have been used. face it, you sell more apples if more goes to waste. There was a independent paper produced by a lot of concerned scientists concerned about the continual use of the statement that there is a scientific consensus that GMO products are safe to use. The paper shows that it isn’t even possible to achieve a consensus. The weight of scientific evidence is waning among the truly independent scientists. Red flags are starting to be raised. Do you have the scientific training to properly assess the quality of a scientific study? But hey, you have the right to grow them, courtesy of our government, but I have the right to not eat them. But sadly, no one really seems confident enough that their GMO products are god’s gift to humanity to make sure we get to know when we are eating this gift. Producers are determined to keep this information from us so I am deprived of this choice. Is that fair? Are you willing to let us know who buys your apples?

        • Jessica Brady

          Hi, thanks for your comment and questions. Outdoor trials have demonstrated that Arctic® apple trees
          behave just like any other apple tree in the orchard – they grow, respond to pests, flower, fruit and harvest
          just the same. A benefit for the grower is fewer apples lost to superficial browning, which masks a fruit’s true quality, so they can sell more of their harvest. As for who is behind these apples, the Carter family are tree fruit growers who founded the Okanagan Specialty Fruits (OSF) company, which developed Arctic® apples. These apples haven’t yet been commercially launched and has been a labor of love for more than twenty years with support from folks who are excited about the benefits they offer. The company was acquired by Intrexon (NYSE: XON) in 2015. These apples were developed because there are no truly nonbrowning apple varieties (Arctic® apples aren’t slow or low browning, they are distinctly nonbrowning).

          You’re right that helping to reduce food waste isn’t the only reason people are interested in nonbrowning apples. There are other advantages such as being able to have fresh or dried slices as a convenient healthful snack without relying on chemicals or other additives to prevent browning. We control the superficial and unnecessary enzymatic browning caused by polyphenol oxidase (PPO) by switching off its expression using the apple’s own gene sequence. This means Arctic® apples are better able to retain their fresh natural color when cut into, without using additives, and this opens up exciting new possibilities for apple products such as juices, sauces, and smoothies that can keep the natural color of apples. For instance, apple juice doesn’t have to be a murky brown, it can be clear and bright like the fresh color of the apples juiced, without using chemical additives.

          As for safety of GMOs, we can’t speak for every product because genetic engineering is only a tool that can be used in many different ways to produce many different effects. Each product needs to be considered on a case by case basis based on its own unique potential risks and benefits. Just as if I really liked or didn’t like a particular car I bought, I wouldn’t be able to generalize and say that all cars are good or bad. It depends on the car and its particular features!

          You’re also right that it’s not up to us if we’re allowed to grow and sell these apples – there was a rigorous regulatory review process by independent experts, which investigated more than 10 years worth of data and studies before approving the Arctic® Granny and Arctic® Golden varieties in the US and Canada.

          As for consumer choice, we support it, and will proudly label our Arctic® apples. The clever innovators at OSF and everyone involved have worked hard for more than twenty years to help solve a problem with apple browning so we are delighted to be able to share them and chat about them!

          And regarding who’s interested in our apples, I’m delighted to share that we are starting small test markets this year with the fall harvest, so stay tuned! We will be posting updates about our commercial launch on http://www.arcticapples.com and on social media.

          Best wishes,
          Chris

  18. Josh

    Why are we genetically modifying apples? God made them like that for a reason. Plus if they do not brown how do we know when they go bad because a non-GMO apple browns and we know when its bad. A apple like this we don’t know because we could actually be eating a rotten apple or almost rotten apple.

    • Jessica Brady

      Hello Josh!

      Thanks for your comment. Arctic(R) apples will rot like other apples, it is just superficial browning caused by oxidation or mechanical damage like bruising, biting or sliced the fruit that will no longer be a problem. The means the apple’s true condition is allowed to shine, and waste caused by bruised apples will be reduced. You can learn more in our blog post: http://www.arcticapples.com/arctic-apples-help-show-fruits-true-quality/

    • Jessica Brady

      Hi Bob!

      Sorry you didn’t find this helpful, are there any specific questions we could answer for you?

      Thanks,

      Jessica

  19. Just askin'

    Hello, just out of curiosity, do these apples breed like normal apples? Or are these genetically modified plants sterile?

  20. Raphael

    The ethics and ethos of genetic modification of our food is simply wrong. Serendipity, accident and chance are part of nature – and so is browning apples. Because YOU can’t see the dangers inherent in this process doesn’t mean they don’t exist. Genetic modification of our food supply will ultimately result in sickness, weakness and death. Science these days is about unpicking the material universe, and putting it back together again in odd ways! Odd ways that profit agribusinesses and bio-tech companies. Science isn’t about health. It’s about profit. Science needs to be bought into alignment with the moral universe.

    • Jessica Brady

      Hello Raphael! It might interest you to have a look at GENERA, a searchable database of peer-reviewed research on genetically engineered crops. As an example, you are able to search scientific papers by funding source and see important details found at a glance. http://www.genera.biofortified.org Another resource of interest is the National Academy of Sciences report on Genetically Engineered Crops, which dives deep into potential concerns surrounding GE Crops and examines a wide array of scientific papers to determine a consensus on the safety of genetically engineered crops. You can find that report here: http://www.nap.edu/catalog/23395/genetically-engineered-crops-experiences-and-prospects
      Thank you,

      Jessica

  21. LOWVELDBARON

    I do not see anything wrong with these apples since it seems no foreign DNA was introduced. they just silenced a gene coding for an enzyme. the thing that worries me about genetic modification is the resulting of an organism that now manufactures new proteins. thanks for the good work on these apples.

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