The CEO of Okanagan Specialty Fruits in Summerland, British Columbia, is awaiting regulatory approval of the genetically modified Arctic® Apple, which doesn’t turn brown after being cut or sliced. The company is starting with Granny and Golden apples and plans to branch out into eight to ten other varieties after United States regulators sign off, he said.
“We can make any variety of apple non-browning,” he said in an interview during the BIO 2013 International Convention.
Carter says he hopes to commercialize the Arctic® Apple in the fall of 2015 in both retail and foodservice channels. He said that he expects to have an international market as well and has had expressions of interest from people in the United Kingdom, South Africa and China.
In the pipeline, he said, are traits that could deal with problems such as fire blight, a major disease of apples that is currently treated with antibiotic sprays, in both conventional and organic production.
Carter predicts that genetic engineering in plants, now found mainly in commodity crops, will soon spread into specialty crops - fruits and vegetables.
“The grocers are expecting it to happen,” he said.