Trade Resources Company News Okanagan Specialty Fruits' Third Biotech Apple Variety Gets USDA Approval

Okanagan Specialty Fruits' Third Biotech Apple Variety Gets USDA Approval

Arctic Fuji, a genetically modified non-browning apple variety developed by Okanagan Specialty Fruits (OSF), has been approved by the US Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS).

OSF, which is a Canadian subsidiary of biotech company Intrexon Corporation, said that the Arctic Fuji apples have been found to be on par with conventional apples in both safety and nutritional value.

Apart from the Arctic Fuji apple, the agricultural company has two more apple varieties - Arctic Golden and Arctic Granny which were both approved by USDA last year.

Okanagan Specialty Fruits founder and president Neal Carter said: "The response to Arctic Fuji apples and our overall platform to deliver direct benefits to consumers has been encouraging.

"We are confident the positive feedback we have received will translate to the marketplace."

OSF said that it has reduced the enzyme polyphenol oxidase (PPO) in apples to make them appear non-brown which is evident when they are sliced, bitten or bruised.

The company claims that its apples are modified without using flavor-altering chemical additives.

It plans to develop non-browning tree fruits in the near future. It will also expand cultivation of its three approved genetically-modified apple varieties.

Although the three apple varieties are all USDA approved, OSF said that they are not available in the markets as it would take a couple of years at least for new trees to produce enough fruit.

OSF is looking to commercially launch the biotech apples in the fall of 2017, reported Fresh Plaza.

Based in British Columbia, OSF was acquired by the US based Intrexon in 2015.

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