SUMMERLAND, British Columbia, Oct. 3, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Okanagan Specialty Fruits (OSF) announced today that it has successfully completed the first commercial harvest of its non-browning Arctic® Golden apple variety. The healthy fruit from this inaugural harvest will be sold as fresh sliced apples in test markets across North America in early 2017.
"We are pleased to see over 20 years of hard work and effort coming to fruition with this first commercial harvest of our Arctic® Golden variety," said Neal Carter, founder and president of Okanagan Specialty Fruits. "With growing industry and consumer interest in the advantages our solution brings, we eagerly anticipate seeing our freshly sliced apples in grocery stores, supermarkets, and kitchens across the United States and Canada."
With ~40% of apples wasted each year, many due to superficial bruising and browning, OSF looks forward to the 2017 commercial launch of its groundbreaking non-browning solution, which does not use any flavor-altering chemical or antioxidant additives, to drive benefits across the entire apple supply chain, importantly to growers and consumers alike.
The Company also announced the completion of its 70,000 tree planting goal for 2016 including both Arctic® Golden and Arctic® Granny varieties, and currently has 300,000 and 500,000 trees under contract in North America for planting in 2017 and 2018, respectively. Cumulatively, at maturity, these trees will produce over 30 million pounds of Arctic® apples on an annual basis.
Furthermore OSF has begun plans for planting in North America in 2019 and beyond, as well as additional international markets pending further regulatory approvals.
In Arctic® varieties the expression of polyphenol oxidase (PPO), the enzyme involved in oxidative browning, is virtually eliminated. As a result, the apples do not brown when bruised, bitten or cut, yet will still show discoloration from bacterial or fungal infections and rot just like any other apple. "Providing consumers access to delicious, sliced apples that do not brown means more apples will be eaten and less thrown away, helping reduce overall waste and lowering cost for families," added Mr. Carter.
OSF's Arctic® Golden and Arctic® Granny varieties have been reviewed and approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Health Canada (HC). OSF also recently received deregulation of the Arctic® Fuji variety in the U.S. from USDA.
For more on its two decade journey to reach this first commercial harvest see OSF's "It's Just the Beginning" video.
About Okanagan Specialty Fruits®
Okanagan Specialty Fruits Inc. (OSF) is a small, dynamic biotechnology company based in Summerland, British Columbia, Canada. Founded in 1996, and acquired by Intrexon Corporation (NYSE: XON) as a wholly owned subsidiary in April 2015, OSF specializes in developing tree fruit varieties with novel attributes that benefit fruit producers and consumers alike. For consumer information, visit www.arcticapples.com; for information about the company and partnership opportunities, visit www.okspecialtyfruits.com.
Safe Harbor Statement
Some of the statements made in this press release are forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based upon our current expectations and projections about future events and generally relate to our plans, objectives and expectations for the development of our business. Although management believes that the plans and objectives reflected in or suggested by these forward-looking statements are reasonable, all forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties and actual future results may be materially different from the plans, objectives and expectations expressed in this press release.
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Phone: (250) 404-0101
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SOURCE Okanagan Specialty Fruits