Last week, we kicked off what will be a series of blog entries covering how nonbrowning Arctic® apples benefit each link along the supply chain. Our first entry focused on advantages for growers and apple packers will find that many of these same benefits apply to them too.
As with the growers, packers will find that nonbrowning apples can reduce cullage and improve packout quality – primarily through decreased visibility of surface damage from bin rub and packing line bruising. Another key benefit for growers and packers is that Arctic® apples will be much better suited to less labor-intensive picking/packing techniques like mechanical harvesting.
Because Arctics don’t brown, they can also allow for a more flexible packing schedule. For example, delicate varieties such as Golden Delicious would no longer need to be warmed prior to packing. This inconvenient process helps protect against superficial bruising and blemishes, but also results in fruit with decreased fruit pressure and thus, a less satisfactory eating experience since the fruit won’t be as crunchy.
You don’t have to take our word for it that these advantages are desired by packers. We have surveyed many key apple industry members who have had positive feedback. One such individual commented that “From my experience as a packer, I like the reduction or elimination of superficial bruising. It would be wonderful to eliminate that.” Another packer agreed that “It would allow us to get away from costs” and also explained that they “have to allow (certain varieties) to ‘dry down’ in the packing house” to minimize surface bruising during packing.
Just like most consumers put a case on their favourite apple products to protect against damage (I know I have one on my iPhone!), we have provided a way to protect real apples – and packers can’t wait to take advantage of this benefit!