Everyone knows the old saying, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” A longtime healthy snack favourite for kids and adults alike, apples suffer from one major challenge — they turn brown when cut, bitten or bruised, leaving them unappealing and often uneaten. This makes apples one of the most wasted foods, with about 40 per cent remaining unconsumed.
Research from Cornell University shows that kids are more likely to eat apples when they’re sliced – up to over 60 per cent more. Fortunately, there’s a new non-browning apple variety called Arctic apple which is now available that can help put more apples into school lunches.
Apples have an enzyme called polyphenol oxidase that causes them to brown. In the Arctic apple, plant breeders have inserted additional copies of the genes that control browning. This effectively cancels out the browning reaction with the apple’s own genes. The first Arctic apple trees were planted in North America last year, which means the first crop should be in stores in a couple of years.
When ready, non-browning apple slices or pieces can effortlessly be part of fresh fruit cups and salads, making apples even more accessible, and healthy food goals easier to achieve.