1004PerfectApplesr.cfm 1004PerfectApplesr.cfm Malatya Haber Apple variety genetically engineered to prevent browning
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Apple variety genetically engineered to prevent browning

By Cindy Williams

Meadowlark District (Kan.) Extension Agent

Apples are a nutritious food but then they turn brown after cutting, turning off many consumers. So is it possible to have an apple that doesn’t brown? Possibly.

A study published in Chemical & Engineering News reported that a new apple variety called Arctic has been genetically engineered to turn off the browning reaction. The apple is currently going through the long regulatory process to deem it safe for human consumption. So far, no evidence proves they are not safe.

The browning reaction in apples occurs when the polyphenol oxidase enzyme oxidizes phenols into quinones. Further reactions result in the dark-colored polyphenols and the brown color. So in these new apples, keeping the PPO from converting to quinones is what prevents browning and could even improve nutritional content.

Debate continues about cross-pollination of these apples with conventional or organic apple trees.

Date: 10/21/2013

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