Putting the tech in biotech

By now you may be quite familiar with the nonbrowning trait in Arctic® apples, and hopefully have had the chance to taste the orchard-freshness of our apples for yourself. The biotechnology behind our apples benefits the entire supply chain and helps ensure fewer apples are wasted and more apples get tasted. What you may not realize, however, is the technology that goes into growing Arctic apples. Okanagan Specialty Fruits® is a vertically integrated company. As proud as we are of the science behind our apples, we are equally proud of our state-of-the-art orchards and the care that goes into growing
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Arctic® Fuji Apple Receives FDA Approval

Summerland, B.C., Canada – Okanagan Specialty Fruits Inc.’s (OSF) newest nonbrowning Arctic® apple variety, Arctic® Fuji, completed the voluntary review process with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today. Arctic® Fuji’s are the third apple variety OSF has been approved to grow, along with Arctic® Golden and Arctic® Granny apples that previously received regulatory approval 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,” explained Neal Carter, President of OSF. “We get a lot of feedback from people about what Arctic® variety
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5 Ways Biotech Can Help Our Food Future

Our climate is changing, our world is more populated every year, and there’s growing talk of global food insecurity. With science technology, it seems anything and everything is possible. Even for our food future? Maybe biotech foods can help. Changing Climate = pests, disease, weather A changing climate brings new challenges to farmers. Where biotech works is through breeding a better potato that’s resistant to blight in Ireland, corn that can better withstand water shortages, or growing drought resistant soybeans that get genetic help from drought-friendly sunflowers. Deep Dive: a multi-scientist authored paper on Genetically Modified Food: Its uses, Future
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Successful launch for new Arctic ApBitz™ dried apple snacks

Summerland, B.C., Canada – To say Okanagan Specialty Fruits Inc.’s (OSF) latest product has been extremely well received might just be an understatement. Following their debut to U.S. consumers this March on Amazon.com, Arctic ApBitz™ dried apples quickly became the number one new release in both the snack and dried fruit categories. The dried apples have been designated as an “Amazon’s Choice” product thanks to their rave reviews and highest rating in Amazon.com’s dried apple category. ApBitz™ dried apples are made 100% from Arctic® Golden apples – the first Arctic® apple variety that doesn’t brown when bitten, sliced, or bruised –
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We’re Hiring: Plant Transformation and Regeneration Technician

Okanagan Specialty Fruits Inc. is seeking a motivated Transformation and Regeneration Technician to join our Transformation and Cultivar Development Group in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Under the direct supervision of the Laboratory Manager and in coordination with other technicians, the successful candidate will be primarily involved in the development and optimization of transformation and regeneration protocols. These protocols will be used in the creation of transgenic lines of both currently used and future tree fruit varieties. The candidate will also work in conjunction with other laboratory staff and research scientists to drive projects forward to positive conclusions in a streamlined fashion. Deadline
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An Arctic®Hat Trick: golden, granny, and FUJI

Just recently we received approval from Canadian government regulatory authorities for another apple variety: the Arctic® Fuji. This means we now have three apples in the Arctic® family – which in hockey terms would be a hat trick. (we had to say it) With our fall 2017 inaugural launch of Arctic® Golden packaged slices in a handful of US locations we saw good response to our fresh packaged fruit. And since our Arctic® Fuji already has USDA approval, we thought it time to review how and when which Arctic® apple varieties will get from our house to yours. Because this
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The Cellular Kitchen: science and sustainable food

Over the last two decades technology has advanced at a brisk pace. But tech is not the only place of rapid growth and development. Together, science and tech have a significant role in changing conversations around food and sustainability. We talked earlier about what it means to be sustainable. Aside from having recycling bins and a garden compost, sustainability for us includes looking for ways to mindfully grow the food supply while reducing food waste. Innovating. This is where science comes in. As an orchardist and bioresource engineer, Neal’s natural place to start was with apples. Arctic® apples answered a
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What inspired Arctic® apples in the first place?

If you’ve been following us for awhile now you probably know quite a bit about our nonbrowning Arctic® apples. But what you may not realize is how passionate we are about the benefits of biotechnology and its potential to make a positive impact on many global issues such as food waste and hunger. Our President and Founder, Neal Carter, will be a keynote speaker at the SynBioBeta Conference this fall and will be talking further about the important role biotechnology can play. To find out more about what inspires him and why he started Okanagan Specialty Fruits in the first
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GMO Communication (Part 2): A ripe educational opportunity

Last week I shared some of the personal experiences that have shaped my understanding of GMO perceptions. This week, I will be talking about the importance of biotech champions, and some of the most important lessons we’ve learned for effectively sharing information on GMOs in a way that resonates with a wide, diverse audience. Bridging the communications gap In January 2015 Pew Research found that 88% of scientists from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) say GE foods are generally safe, but 57% of U.S. adults aren’t so sure. Months earlier, the International Food Information Council (IFIC)
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GMO communication (Part 1): The juice is worth the squeeze

Over fifteen years before the first nonbrowning Arctic® apple variety was even approved in the U.S. and Canada, my family and I received a rude awakening regarding how big a challenge we had gotten ourselves into. Activists angry about the development of GMO apples had hacked over 650 of our young apple trees down. These particular trees weren’t even genetically engineered, but the activists either didn’t realize or simply didn’t care! Being involved in agriculture for over three decades, I’ve learned to expect the unexpected from the weather, pests and even people. And, while I’m happy to say the attack
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