The Arctic Apple

1569 Words7 Pages
The Arctic Apple was brought into development in 1996 by a Canadian fruit company, Okanagan Specialty Fruits (OSF), that hoped to engineer conventional apples to be nonbrowning and bring them to the markets for consumers. Currently, 40% of the apples being produced are wasted and much of this is a result of superficial bruising and browning (Lehrman, 2014). The company’s goal is to reduce apple waste while still maintaining the apple’s great taste and healthfulness (Arctic® Apple, 2016). In essence, the Arctic Apple has the potential to increase apple consumption in North America by encouraging consumers to eat healthier by making apples more appealing and convenient. The enzyme Polyphenol Oxidase (PPO) belongs to a family of about 10 closely related genes that are mostly responsible for the browning of apples. The genetically modified (GM) apple is nonbrowning because it expresses less PPO by preventing the enzymatic/oxidative browning reaction from occurring (Arctic® Apple, 2016). This reaction is initiated when there is superficial damage to the apple’s cells, such as when the apple is sliced, bitten, or bruised. Colorless polyphenols are oxidized as they come into contact with the PPO and result in colored polymer compounds consisting of quinones (Xu, 2013); therefore, this reaction is the core of why apples brown. By increasing the amount of PPO being suppressed, researchers were able to conclude that high percentage reductions (90-91%) in PPO activities of mature fruit
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