We’ve talked a lot about Arctic® apples’ perfect suitability for the freshcut industry since they avoid the need for costly anti-browning treatments and offer consumers a more appealing product. And, the same is true for dried apples!
Just as with fresh apples, whether whole or cut, oxidative browning is also a major issue for dried apples. Like freshcut apples, dried apple products require anti-browning treatments to help them maintain their color.
While anti-browning solutions or in-home fruit juice applications can be used for short term prevention of browning in fresh apples, sulfite treatments are commonly used to prevent browning of dried fruit. In addition to the significant costs this adds for processors, another problem is that a small percentage of the population have allergic reactions when exposed to sulfites, especially those with asthma.
Considering over two-thirds of consumers told us they’d be more likely to buy apples slices if they weren’t treated to prevent browning, we’re willing to bet that nonbrowning Arctic® apples will be a big hit in the dried fruit market. More evidence of this: 57% of participants in a recent mall intercept study stated they’d be more likely to buy Arctic® apples after hearing that they wouldn’t require treatments that could potentially cause respiratory problems!
Plus, the demand for healthy, grab-and-go snacks like apple crisps are on the rise, yet currently less than 2% of apples are sold dried. Nonbrowning apples can certainly help dried apples compete for stomach space with similar, less healthy, snacks like potato chips.
There’s clearly an unmet demand for dried apple products, and Arctic® apples offer a more desirable product without the allergy concerns of sulfites, or the processing costs associated with anti-browning treatments. Just take a look at our untreated, dried Arctic® Fuji (left) and a conventional Fuji (right) – it’s clear which looks more appealing!