Canada’s Okanagan Specialty Fruits (OSF) has announced that its latest non-browning apple variety, Arctic Fuji, has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
It becomes the company’s third apple variety to receive regulatory approval, joining Arctic Golden and Arctic Granny apples that were cleared in 2015.
“Completion of this FDA review is important news for our company as it marks the last step needed for Arctic Fuji to officially join our commercial orchards,” said OSF’s president, Neal Carter.
“We get a lot of feedback from people about what Arctic variety they’re excited to see next, and this latest announcement allows us to provide consumers with even more choice when it comes to purchasing value-added fruits for their families to enjoy.”
Through biotechnology, the enzyme in Arctic apples responsible for browning has been turned off.
OSF claims this can significantly impact unnecessary food waste when it comes to apples that would normally get thrown out after they have turned brown from getting bruised, sliced, or bitten, enabling the unique non-browning trait to benefit every sector of the supply chain. Arctic apples were first sold in select US cities in 2017 and availability has increased steadily since then as more trees are planted and fruit volumes increase.
“There have been some major developments for OSF recently, and I’m excited to see what comes next as this is definitely just the start for us,” said Carter.
Arctic Fuji has already been approved by the US Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS) and Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Health Canada.
The FDA is expected to post a letter announcing the completion of its evaluation on its website in the coming weeks, marking the final step in the regulatory process.