Arctic® Apples help show fruits’ true quality

We have heard some people wonder, “since Arctic® apples are nonbrowning, won’t that mean older and lower quality fruit can look better than it really is?” The answer is that not only will Arctic® apples rot just like other apples, they also don’t show superficial damage which makes it much easier to tell when an apple really has gone bad.

As discussed before, we have silenced the gene sequence that controls the production of polyphenol oxidase (PPO), which initiates enzymatic browning in apples. Enzymatic browning (a.k.a. primary browning) occurs when an apple’s cells are damaged, such as through cutting, bruising or biting the fruit. For example, if someone were to grip an apple a bit too hard while picking it, there might be no signs of damage at first, but the slightly damaged cells on the apple’s fresh surface will brown due to this enzymatic reaction. Arctic Granny

By preventing enzymatic browning, Arctic® apples stop the flesh of the apple from going brown due to superficial damage, but this is quite separate from tissue breakdown from rotting. The decomposition that renders an apple unsightly and inedible primarily occurs due to fungi and bacteria, and this secondary browning or decomposition will happen with Arctic® apples, too.

In fact, since Arctic® apples don’t show superficial damage, when you do see discoloration or damage, you know it’s not just a minor surface issue and the eating quality of the apple has probably been compromised. Far from allowing older or lower quality fruit from being sold, Arctic® apples actually make it easier to tell if an apple is still in good condition!

About Joel Brooks

Growing up in the Okanagan, Joel had the opportunity to experience apple growing first hand, a background that lead him to his role as Product & Special Projects Manager. Joel feels privileged to work with such great people towards a goal that’s so easy to get behind – helping people to eat more apples.


  1. Don Arthur

    In your propaganda of said apples, you state; “They also DON’T (emphasis mine) show superficial damage which makes it much easier to tell when an apple really has gone bad.”

    Am I missing something, but how else are we to determine if an Artic apple is 2 days old; 2 weeks old; or 2 decades old?

    If that Artic apple is in “good condition”, how will I be able to tell if it is of any nutritional value to my body!

    I’m sorry, but I’ll stick to the tried and true.

    You folks in B.C. should know better


    • Joel

      Hi Don,

      As the article explains, the decomposition that comes from rotting when an apple is too old and/or is being broken down by fungi and bacteria WILL show on an Arctic apple. So an Arctic apple will certainly not last two years.

      For an apple that is still fresh, though, you wouldn’t have the bruises or brown flesh that comes from being exposed to oxygen. This type of browning is called enzymatic browning and does not indicate the quality (or lack thereof) of the fruit.

      Arctic apples will have the same nutritional content as their conventional counterparts – in fact, they likely retain their antioxidant and vitamin C levels better since these healthful components are partially burned up in the browning process.

      Feel free to let us know if you have any additional questions!

  2. Glen

    Yeah, it is obvious that a doubt like this can easily arise in the mind of common people. Because it is said not prone to browning like other apples, so even i had a doubt like this. But your explanation was good enough to clear them. Thanks.

  3. Steve

    In my experiences browned apples taste different (like when cut and put in the fridge for a little while). Is this caused by the browing and won’t be present in these apples? or will it have this taste despite not browning? 


    Also, any plans to do this with pears?

    • Joel

      Hi Steve – thanks for your questions!

      When the enzymatic browning reaction occurs, the chemical makeup of an apple’s damaged/exposed surface is altered. This not only results in cosmetic differences, but also affects the taste and texture of the fruit. Because Arctic apples do not contain enough of the enzyme that initiates this browning reaction (polyphenol oxidase). They will not suffer from the less-than-ideal taste and texture of a bruised/browned apple.

      In fact, we recently shared the results of a taste-taste comparison that numerous consumers participated in, and they definitely saw significant advantage in terms of taste/texture in sliced Arctic apples compared to their conventional counterparts. 

      Regarding pears, their browning is also initiatiated by polyphenol oxidase, and nonbrowning pears are a product currently in our development pipeline, though currently we are primarily focused on Arctic apples.

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