Non-Browning Apples Hit US Shelves Thanks To CSIRO

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Preservative free pre-sliced apples that won't turn brown will be available in US supermarkets this month after Canadian biotech company, Okanagan Specialty Fruits Inc, licensed the technology from CSIRO.

Most pre-sliced apples are coated with vitamin C or calcium to prevent browning, these preservatives can alter the taste and make the apples less appealing.

Back in the mid-90s, CSIRO did some research into why potatoes go brown. The research found that fruit and vegetables turn brown when cut or damaged thanks to an enzyme called polyphenol oxidase or PPO.

CSIRO scientists were able to develop an anti-PPO gene that stopped production of the enzyme and thus stopped fruit from turning brown.

Okanagan Specialty Fruits founder Neal Carter came across the research and decided to license it to make more appealing apples while reducing food waste.

The fruit of his labour is some snack-sized bags of golden apple slices.