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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  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:

      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:

      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:


          • 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

            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.


          • Jewellsh1

            I am shocked and appalled by this simplistic position of the so-called scientific community. Making statements such as “there are no harmful side effects” simply because there may not be a result of cancer, or other illness, is short sighted on their part. It also demonstrates a complete lack of logic or reason.
            PPO is an enzyme. What are enzymes for? I believe my fellow scientists are already aware of the beneficial properties an enzyme brings to the health and fortification of DNA, overall physical ability to fight off illness, and so much more. It is an egregious error on their part to ignore this aspect. It verges on absolute negligence.
            In a country where obesity is on the rise, and healthy lifestyles are a struggle for the poor communities, we want to start stripping the food of nutritional values? I am absolutely ashamed of our scientific community. But, I suppose any grant is funding to pay the bills.
            I hope some of you will wake up and understand your responsibility to the human race – and the future generations (not just the ones today that may not demonstrate any overt ill effects from your product – but I highly doubt it) and create some sense of moral turpitude. Good luck. I will not be purchasing your product. And, a little research can fix knowing who is GMO and who is not – I do not need the government to label it for me. Have fun with your blood money.

          • Jessica Brady

            Arctic® apples have been approved by the USDA, FDA, Health Canada and the CFIA. If you would like more insight into research conducted through public funding, you can search the Genera database using the ‘Funding Source’ filter at You can also find more information on the National Academy scientific consensus on GE crops at and information on GE crops provided by the Royal Society at You will note that both groups agree that GE breeding techniques are no more risky than using conventional cross breeding. To ensure Arctic® apples would not cause unforeseen circumstances we happily took part in approval processes set out by the above mentioned government organizations. The Carters, family farmers themselves and the founders of our company, recognize the importance of ensuring Arctic® apples cause no harm to people, apple production or the environment.
            Thank you,


          • Rasoio Bluculo

            It doesn’t matter if apples turn brown or not. It’s all about the patenting food. It’s just another way for globalist corporations to own the seed source to squeeze more money out of the poor and working people of the world. When the supper rich control the raw food sources they own the people through economic slavery.

          • Denise Everett

            Hi Rasoio,

            Thanks for taking the time to comment. You may not be aware but Okanagan Specialty Fruits actually began as a small, grower-led company and was founded by an apple grower himself. We share your concerns about wanting to save consumers money. Because of Arctic apples unique nonbrowning trait less apples actually end up being thrown out, resulting in less waste and more money in consumers pocketbooks! We should also mention that we pride ourselves on giving back to the community and sponsor events such as Tour de Fresh, a healthy initiative that helps put salad bars in schools. Please don’t hesitate to ask if you have any further questions about our company and its missions!


          • CByrd

            Jessica Brady,

            I’m curious to know if you will give these apples to your children and potentially your grandchildren? GMO foods are causing so many health problems in people now. Just because “important” companies approve your company’s new apples, it doesn’t mean they are safe to consume in the long run. Major companies that we are supposed to trust want to get paid too. The love of money is the root of ALL evil! These companies don’t care about us, because if they did, they would do like other countries and ban a lot of the chemicals that are used to poison our food. So, listing the approval from the companies doesn’t mean much AT ALL!

          • Jessica Brady


            Please note that those are not companies, but rather federal government agencies given the important task of ensuring the health of consumers and the environment. I, and all members of our staff, do personally eat Arctic® apples and share them with our families. We are very excited for the benefits that Arctic® apples can offer, and confident that they are as safe and nutritious as their conventional counterparts.



  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:

      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,


  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.

      • Mary G.

        That doesn’t make sense. The apple seeds from an Arctic Apple are not hybrids of two trees, so the seeds OUGHT to produce an Arctic Apple.

        Now, since it wouldn’t be grafted onto root stock, it may not grow well, but it WOULD produce fruit eventually, or the new growth could be grafted onto other root stock and then it would definitely produce non-browning apples.

        Unless, by your response, you intend to mean that it wouldn’t be an Arctic-BRAND apple, which is true. Your response makes it sound like the seeds wouldn’t produce a non-browning apple. If you did that deliberately… that’s an interesting and subtle marketing trick.

        • Jessica Brady


          Apples are self infertile and require cross pollination to ensure fertilization, which is why we have crab apples interspersed throughout our orchards. Modern apple production relies on grafting, as mentioned, to ensure that the apples are genetically true, thus apple seeds are not planted for fruit production in commercial orchards.

          Thank you

          • Aaron Holmgren

            Sorry? You plant grab apples in your orchard? What is wrong with having the arctic apple trees cross pollinate with other arctic apple trees? If you plant a seed from a conventional apple, you most certainly will not get a crab apple, if that is what you are suggesting… The genetic traits of these arctic apple trees should carry on into any seeds of any other apple’s that they cross pollinate with.

          • Jessica Brady

            Hello Aaron,

            As mentioned above, most apples are self infertile. This means that only having one variety of apple tree in an orchard will lead to no, or poorly developed, fruit. Crab apples are an ideal variety to include because they produce a lot of pollen, making them a top choice for orchardists everywhere. Again, as mentioned above, apple trees are multiplied using grafting, not directly from seed in order to ensure varieties remain true. You can learn more in this infographic: and this blog post:

            Thank you,


        • JJ

          Hey Mary G,

          Apples have a unique trait in their reproductive system that causes a huge amount of variability in seeds. (Extreme Heterozygotes)
          For example, planting a seed from a “Golden Delicious” will very rarely ( less than .0001%) result in a new tree that produces the same (or similar) type of apple.

          Apple orchards grown by seed are used to make ciders because the apples are often inedible (due to taste), but this doesn’t matter for the cider fermentation process.

  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.

    • john D.S.

      “keep fruit from browning for at least 24 hours”

      I’d rather eat a brown natural or even rotten apple than a white sparkling GMO apple..

      • Jessica Brady

        Hello John,

        Arctic® apples have been found safe for consumption and the environment by the UDSA, FDA, Health Canada and CFIA. If you have any specific questions we would be happy to answer them, we are always open to respectful conversation.

        Thank you,


  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. @

  10. Anonymous


    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.


    • 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 2017, 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: Please let us know if you have any specific questions, we’re always happy to take part in a respectful conversation.



  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:

      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 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 and on social media.

          Best wishes,

  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:

    • Jessica Brady

      Hi Bob!

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



  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. 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:
      Thank you,



    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.

  22. Human

    Any SCIENTIFIC tests done on humans or animals?
    Any published data on nutritional values, content, comparison etc?
    “The potential for these countless bees to physically transport pollen from an Arctic® orchard to a different orchard is incredibly unlikely” So its absolutely possible. Cross pollination is possible. Who will have legal rights over the seeds inside the non-GMO fruit if cross pollination occurs?
    Are the varieties patented?

    • Jessica Brady

      After over 10 years of field trials we are confident in the healthfulness and safety of Arctic® apples. You can learn more about the work completed in our APHIS application, including nutritional and compositional data starting on page 81
      To ensure apple trees are genetically true to type, apple producers use grafting techniques rather than starting an apple from seed. Any cross-pollinated seed, Arctic or not, is unlikely to germinate and produce a viable tree; hence why grafting is used in all apple propagation. We have described grafting in this blog post:
      Many crops, including Arctic® apples, are patented. This is true not only for genetically engineered crops but also for many hybrid varieties. As noted above, creating a new cultivar is extremely time consuming; patents not only help protect plant breeder investment, but also ensure that the crops meet the standards and quality expected by the grower.
      Thank you,


  23. Charles

    If I harvest a an apple tree with one of your artic apples will be that copyright violation? since is an GMO in fact I want to know will be easy to harvest (same as original), if I want to sell them, do I have to ask for your permission? How it works this when is related to GMO? Nature is free to harvest will be GMO “NOT free”?

    • Jessica Brady

      Hello Charles,
      Thank you for your question! As you likely know, all commercial apple trees are propagated using grafting, therefore, you will not find an Arctic® tree outside of our orchards. OSF is a fully vertically integrated company, from technology to consumer. We are currently in the process of getting ready for our 2017 commercial product launch. All Arctic® trees are grown in our orchards and we will manage the sale of Arctic® apples.
      Thank you,


  24. Kathy

    Can you explain how the low PPO-producing gene sequence (GEN-03) was developed? Was this a natural mutation someone discovered? Also, you said that there were 4 PPO genes. How does transformation with GEN-03 actually silence all the native genes in the apple plants? I thought gene silencing had to do with down-expression of the native genes, through RNAi, for example.

  25. Ansley siter

    I don’t know why you just don’t use Cortland apples. They resist browning and can be served cut without a problem.

    • Jessica Brady


      While other apple varieties may be slow or low browning, Arctic apples are the only variety that are nonbrowning.

      Thank you,


  26. Albert

    If it won’t brown, how can I tell if it isn’t fresh? It looks like “you can’t” is the whole point, meaning that rotten apples look good and we eat them by mistake.

    • Jessica Brady

      Hello Albert,

      Arctic apples have a reduced amount of polyphenol oxidase which causes primary enzymatic browning. Bacteria and fungus cause secondary browning which Arctic apples are susceptible to, therefore they rot like any other apple.

      Thank you,


  27. Matt

    Reading the article about these from here:

    I have no issue with your company making new products – my only issue is whether or not I as the consumer will be able to decide what I want to purchase. For me and my family, we avoid GMO food.

    From that article:
    “Further on that note, the company isn’t revealing which stores will sell the fruit and says the choice to label it is up to stores themselves. “We don’t want to skew our test marketing results by choosing stores that may be more friendly to genetic engineering,” president Neal Carter said.”

    Based on that, my family will simply vote with our dollars and avoid all products from your company. If you believe this is a great product, then you should proudly label it as a technological marvel and see what people want to eat.

    • Jessica Brady

      Hello Matt,

      We’re very lucky to have so many food choices available to us. Unfortunately, this article contains multiple errors. Our labeling policies for Arctic® apples are determined by Okanagan Specialty Fruits and these decisions are based primarily on our commitment to transparency, as well as FDA guidelines. Currently, there are no formal labeling requirements mandated by the FDA for the majority of biotech foods. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is developing guidelines as a result of a labeling law passed in 2016, we will certainly follow any label requirements that are determined, and in the meantime have ensured that information relating to the role biotechnology played in introducing the nonbrowning benefit in Arctic® apples is available on our and websites. The packaging for our Arctic® Goldens being test marketed will include a website URL and QR code that link to further information.

      Thank you,


      • Sally

        Two things, are viruses used in the maniuplation of the targeted gene(s)? If labeling isn’t more obvious than the codes, then the next best thing is to just go organic. Making folks search for a tiny code and then decipher its meaning is just not transparent. Please don’t wait for some law, just let us know straight out…Please

        • Jessica Brady

          Hello Sally,

          A portion of the CaMV virus genes is used, but it is not active because it is only a small piece, like having one piece of a puzzle. All Arctic® apple products will be marked with our logo and our packaging also includes our our website URL so that people can learn more about Arctic® apples and how they were created.

          Thank you,


  28. Tracy

    Jessica Brady, and Joel,
    THANK YOU for your patience and hard work of trying to explain some basic science to the people in these comments, and doing so tactfully and respectfully even when they are not showing respect to you. Keep up the good work of allowing good science to win over the disinformation they have been led to believe by the fearmongers. I’m anxious to try the Arctic® apples! Amazing work!

    • Jessica Brady

      Hello Tracy,

      Thank you so much for your kind words! Hopefully you will get to enjoy Arctic® apples in the near future.

      Thanks again,


  29. Aaron Holmgren

    I’m surprised this question has not been asked. Is it possible to know definitively that these 4 silenced genes only affect PPO production and do not affect any other unnoticed developmental traits of the apple tree and its apples? I presume the genetic code is only directly related to initial development of the tree from seed. There are many developmental changes from a seed to a full tree, to an apple, so how can you can you be sure that 4 genes are restricted to impacting a finite trait, or set of traits? How can you possibly measure or identify every possible unanticipated change that you’ve impacted in the tree by your suppression of these 4 genes?

    • Jessica Brady

      Hello Aaron,

      Ensuring that Arctic® trees grew the same as their conventional counterparts is an important part research. After nearly 15 years of field trials, we can confidently say that Arctic® apple grow the same and use the same type and amount of inputs as conventional. You can learn more about the studies conducted in our APHIS petition:

      Thank you,


  30. Hi, I have a question about your GMO arctic apple. Because you reduced the use Polyphenol oxidase (PPO) does this mean that you are technically eating a rotten apple because Enzyme and polyphenol oxidase is the chemical reaction that happens when apple is sliced, bitten, or bruised turning it brown and without it, it doesn’t show that it has rotted. Also, is it true that GMO’s will end world hunger? World hunger is the lack or resources needed in that specific area. And one more thing, how do I know if the apples I am eating are GMO or non-GMO? I know that you have the option of labeling the apple that you you have made.

    • Jessica Brady

      Hello Madison(?),

      Arctic® apples are still effected by browning caused by bacteria and fungi (aka rotting), so you will know if an Arctic® apple has gone bad. Biotechnology is a tool that can help to reduce food waste and hunger, but it is not the sole solution for these issues, just one potential piece of the puzzle. As well, all of our products will carry our logo, so you will know if it is an Arctic® apple.

      Thank you,


  31. Just wondering

    Thank you for responding! I read one of your responses to a comment up above. You said that the RNAi in the apple silences the genes you used. I did some research to find that RNAi is the natural reaction that silences unwanted or harmful genes inside the apple. Does this mean that we are eating unwanted or harmful genes? I know that maybe the unwanted gene in the apple helps it to not brown but why do we want an apple that doesn’t rot for a while? Sure it saves money and all but don’t farmers want more money? Aren’t GMO’s increasing the use of pesticides and causing some creatures like bees and butterflies to become endangered because the use of pesticides on these crops has increased?
    Thanks again,
    Madison (Maddy)

    • Jessica Brady

      No, you are not eating harmful or unwanted genes, these are just the types of genes that are most often silenced during naturally occurring instances of RNAi. As mentioned before, browning and rotting are different mechanisms. While browning is caused by enzymes produced by the apple itself, rotting is caused by bacteria and fungus. Nonbrowning apples will help farmers save money by allowing them to sell more apples/acre, and this benefit is amplified throughout the supply chain, you can learn more about supply chain benefits here: . A recent report by the National Academy of Sciences shared that biotech crops associated with pest control have increased insect biodiversity and decreased pesticide use. You can read more on that in their report in brief here:


  32. Joe smith

    The fact that health agencies such as the FDA approve GMO frankenfoods such as this doesn’t engender any trust in them since they’re stacked with ex-corporate CEO’s and other former top level corporate employees and scientists.

    Let’s look at Gardasil for example. That drug came with many life-threatening risks, was virtually untested, yet it got approved.

    The food industry is no different. There are plenty of studies showing the environmental dangers, risks, illnesses, and other physical problems caused by GMO’s, artificial flavorings, artificial colors, food processing chemicals, and preservatives, most of which are flagged and banned in other countries for being carcinogenic or possibly carcinogenic.

    We want natural foods, not frankenfoods.

    • Hello Joe,

      Thanks for sharing your concerns! While we do not wish to comment on other products, especially pharmaceuticals, or what their approval processes entailed, we can tell you that Arctic apples are likely the most tested apple on the planet. They were grown in multiple fields trials for well over a decade before receiving full approval from multiple regulatory bodies in both Canada and the U.S., and data collection was carried out by third party horticultural experts.

      What all results have shown is that Arctic apples are just as safe and healthful as their conventional counterparts. We and our families have literally eaten hundreds of them ourselves and would not be looking to introduce any fruits we are not fully satisfied with from a safety perspective. We encourage you to look at our apples specifically, and if you have any questions or concerns after doing so, to please let us know!

      Kind regards,

  33. Joe

    Is OSF planning any long term toxicology studies on animals or humans? Why EPA has’t approved or evaluated Arctic Apples potential effects on pesticide resistence?

    • Hi Joe – thanks for your questions!

      Animal studies are not required for Arctic® apples because of the nature of their nonbrowning trait. Many biotech crops that get their new trait from a novel protein (e.g., most pest-resistant traits) do require animal testing because of the expression of a protein not normally found in the crop. Arctic® apples get their nonbrowning benefit from reduced expression of an enzyme, polyphenol oxidase, rather than a new protein, however.

      Since Arctic® apples’ trait is from gene-silencing, rather than a new protein from another organism, many other tests are instead used to demonstrate they are just as safe for humans and the environment as other apples. For example, there have been comprehensive nutritional and compositional evaluations of Arctic® apples, among many other tests that were rigorously reviewed by multiple regulatory bodies, including the USDA, FDA, CFIA and Health Canada.

      As for why the EPA doesn’t need to evaluate Arctic® apples – when it comes to biotech crops, the EPA only regulates biotech-developed traits that are directly related to pesticides (e.g., a GE crop that is disease-resistant would likely need EPA-approval). Since Arctic® apples’ novel trait – nonbrowning – is not related to pest/disease-resistance, EPA has no reason to review them.

      With that said, the potential for Arctic® apples nonbrowning benefit to impact things like pest resistance, or have other environmental impacts was indeed rigorously analyzed, primarily by the USDA in the United States. For example, they published a lengthy environmental assessment which concluded that, “the agronomic inputs [e.g., pesticides, water requirements, etc.] required to cultivate [Arctic® apples] are functionally equivalent to those required for conventional apples.” If you’re interested in more detail, we’d encourage you to read a blog post specifically addressing this here, and this post also links to the Environmental Assessment mentioned above, and other supporting studies.

  34. Haileigh

    Great work on these apples! It is great to see companies investing money into gene editing technologies, we need more foods like that incorporate these methods! GMO foods are the natural progression of science to ensure we have enough, quality food grown for the growing population of this world. It is very exciting, the reduction in the need for pesticides, increased yields, less waste, multi trait factors that contribute to consumer (Golden Rice!) and producer advantages. A lot of work went into these apples so thank you!

    • Jenavive Holmes

      Hi Haileigh! You are clearly very passionate about this topic and it sounds like you have done a significant amount of research on some of the benefits that modern science can offer the food supply chain, which is great! Good for you! Thanks for sharing your views with us!

  35. Just wondering

    You said theses apples would be labeled with the artic apple symbol. Every where I go I look to see if i can find the label and its not there. I end up looking at the barcode.

    • Denise Everett

      Thanks for your interest in Arctic® apples! The reason you haven’t been able to find our product label is because Arctic® apples aren’t on shelves just yet. Arctic® apples will be available this fall at select stores. Our products will be clearly labeled with our logo and easily identifiable. If you’d like to have a sneak peek at what our packaging is going to look like please check out this blog post:

      Thanks for your patience – we are just as excited as you for our delicious apples to hit store shelves!

    • Denise Everett

      Hi Guido,

      We love baked apples too! Arctic® apples’ sugars still caramelize when they’re cooked, so baked Arctic® apples will generally look quite similar to a conventional apple. Not only are Arctic® apples absolutely delicious for baking with, they also don’t brown during the preparation stage. Make sure to follow us on our Pinterest page for lots of ideas and recipes on how to bake with Arctic® apples!

  36. Explian this to me please

    ok. I have a problem with GMO’s. Well if GMO’s Are good then why aren’t we saying on packaging and advertising for them and saying how healthy they are? Also if they are so healthy for us, why are the giving rats masive tumers that are making them not able to have babys and function right. Shouldn’t we be scared that this might happen to us? If one of the answers is that, Well rats are have different immuine systems then we do and so on and so forth, this may be true but imagine, if you have eaten GMO’s without knowing the affects on rats then all the sudden get cancer (Becuase I did research and GMO’s can cause cancer.) then they are going to wonder how. It could be a different cause but maybe not, considering that nothing is labeled saying GMO anymore and there are no advertismens saying how healthy GMO’s are. Thank for reading this!

    • Denise Everett

      Thanks for sharing your concerns. Transparency has and will continue to be an important initiative for us. All of our products will be clearly labelled with the Arctic® brand and consumers will have access to product information on our packaging. I can assure you that we wouldn’t feed anything to our own families that wasn’t 100% safe and we’ve all been enjoying our delicious apples for quite some time now. Arctic® apples are one of the most studied foods on the planet – they have undergone multiple regulatory approvals in both the Canada and the U.S. and conclude that Arctic® apples are just as safe as any conventional apple.

  37. Jessica

    As long as you don’t label Genetically Modified Organisms as such, it is a crime against humanity and a violation of our consumer rights, Americans, and, in this global economy, the entire humanity. This product is completely unnecessary and poses several risks to apple growers, the food industry, and consumers. The worst thing about GMO’s is that they are not labeled because you are paying off the current corrupt governments while polluting our food systems. As long as GMO’s are not labeled, it is a corporate scam, no matter how many fake reviews and purchased articles and publications you release to keep the public confused. You interest is obviously keeping you very biased – only greed and control on your mind, no matter what’s at stake.

    • Denise Everett

      Hi Jessica,

      Transparency has always been an important initiative for Okanagan Specialty Fruits and will continue to be. We’ve made every effort to educate the public about how our apples were developed and they’ve gone through strict regulatory approvals to ensure that they are just as safe as any other conventional apple. All Arctic® apple products will be clearly labelled with our logo making our brand easily identifiable. In addition, our packaging will give consumers access to further information about our story and how Arctic® apples were developed. Arctic® apples unique nonbrowning trait in fact benefits every sector of the supply chain from farmers to retailers to consumers. Our interests are plain and simple – reduce food waste and increase apple consumption! Thank you for taking the time to express your concerns, I hope this helped address them.

  38. By creating a GMO apple, that has not been sufficiently tested for its impact on our environment, our ecosystems and our health we risk spreading its genes to other apples (as has happened to corn, soybeans etc.) and is likely to permanently change the DNA of our the apples grown in Canada and the USA. This will affect our apple growers, our bees and our ecosystems as well as potentially our health . We simply don’t know what the consequences will be. As a young British Colombian I am scared of what this do to my future and the future of our province.

    • Denise Everett

      Hi Jacob,
      Thank you for taking the time to share your concerns. Arctic® apples are actually one of the most studied foods on the planet. They have been rigorously reviewed by reputable regulatory teams at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Health Canada, based on nearly 15 years of data and studies, and these experts all agree that Arctic® apples are as safe and healthy as other apples. Arctic® apples are grown just like their conventional counterparts. In all modern commercial apple orchards (even organic ones), apple trees are grown by grafting, rather than by planting seeds. So, even if an Arctic® apple tree pollinated a non-Arctic® apple tree, which is highly unlikely given the details of orchard management and apple biology, a small percentage of seeds might contain Arctic® DNA. But, the apple tree and the fruit itself would remain that of the parent tree. Okanagan Specialty Fruits is a B.C. based company and I can assure you we love this amazing province and care about its future as much you!

  39. Julie Bolo

    Hello, Im a biotechnology student and we are studying about new GM crops and needs to find some information about specific crops including the Arctic Apple. Im just wondering where we can find articles on which Genes were used and where they came from before they were inserted via Agrobac mediated transfer. Thank you and good day!! =)

    • Jenavive Holmes

      Hi Julie, thanks for your interest in Arctic(R) apples! You ask a great question! Our petition to the USDA which contains the majority of the info they reviewed to approve Arctic(R) Golden & Arctic(R) Granny is probably the best resource I can suggest. I would recommend that you focus on Section 4 in particular. Best of luck to you!

  40. kade

    dear the arctic apple people,
    we are doing a school project about GMO’s and i think they are good because they can kill harmful insects and viruses and they can help the well fair of people. But i was wondering how they make the gene that produces PPO and reduce those PPO levels. Is it though partial bombardment or RNA? just want to know…. also when will these arctic apple be released in public?

    • Thanks for your questions! Our nonbrowning apples are the result of RNAi (or RNA “interference”). You can read more about PPO silencing in the science section of our parent company page on our science. Our Arctic® apples fresh slices went on sale in select U.S. grocers last fall, and while that supply has now been exhausted we’re eagerly awaiting the 2018 harvest. Meanwhile, we have our Arctic ApBitz™ dried apple snacks available on Amazon for delivery to U.S. addresses. I hope that helps with your project. If you have any other questions, please get in touch:

  41. Eric

    I’m not a farmer or biochemist, but I am a strong supporter of what I call progressive agriculture. Given the sharp increase in health and environmental crises due to droughts, malnutrition, and climate change, for people to still be scrutinizing GMOs to the point where no conceivable amount of testing for health and safety will ever satisfy their doubt and fear is something I find very troubling. And it doesn’t help when scary faceless corporate giants like Monsanto are constantly at the forefront of modern biotech advocacy. So I’m always looking for smaller businesses and farmers like Okanagan willing to share their stories about bioengineering for a better, healthier, and more sustainable future. And I have some questions:

    1. In total, how long did it take – from conceiving the idea to final approval – to create a commercially-available non-browning apple?

    2. Besides reducing food waste, are there other environmental benefits of growing Arctic Apples over traditional apple orchards?

    3. Do you have any plans to branch out (if you’ll pardon the pun)? For example, non-browning pears, peaches, potatoes, bananas, etc.

    4. Would your company be interested in participating in a documentary on GMOS aimed at alleviating some of the fears and misinformation around biotechnology and the food industry? Not asking anyone to sign a contract at this time – I’m only scoping out potential opportunities at this time, so even if there’s a slim possibility, please let me know.

  42. Lily

    I am asking for a biology report… I am aware that this is genetically modified but could you explain how so? has another transgene been added in? has it been selectively bred by putting the apples that brown less together ect. Also this apple can reproduce and grow from seeds i believe i read?

    • Denise Everett

      Hi Lily,

      We will email you a package with more in-depth information for your report but through RNAi we’ve simply introduced apple genes that produce less PPO (the enzyme responsible for browning) into apple leaf tissue.