Karst chat with Neal Carter: On the GM Arctic apple - The Packer

Karst chat with Neal Carter: On the GM Arctic apple

01/07/2011 03:26:18 PM
Tom Karst

11:14 a.m. Karst: Who do you think will be most interested in your apple?

11:15 a.m. Carter: Definitely, we have gone out and done quite a bit of market assessment to identify where the most value is achieved for different people in the value chain and the foodservice industry would stand to have the biggest benefit. I think one of the really interesting things as I was meeting with one the large processor a couple of weeks ago, they deal with a lot of things like metabisulfites for dried fruit, for diced fruit, sliced fruit, cubed fruit and all sorts of things to make dehydrated apples and then shipping them off to where they are going to get rehydrated for pies. Everything there is treated with metabisulfites. Well our Arctic apples wouldn't need any metabisulfites on them. So right off the bat there is a savings for them and of course metabisulfites is a chemical that causes off flavoring and causes (allergic) reactions so it’s great to get that sort of thing out of the food handling and processing change. But also the fresh cut apple people would benefit enormously in the fact they could rid of calcium ascorbate
or the antioxidant of their choice is a pretty big thing. It is expensive, again it is a chemical that is added and getting rid of a chemical is always a good thing.

11:17 a.m. Karst: How big of inroads can you eventually make among fresh cut processors?

11:18 a.m. Carter: Because of the GM issue, we know that some people will continue to use calcium ascorbate, citric acid or a combination of the two in making their apple slices because they are wary of the perception in the market place, but I think there will be people who will try this. I think there are people (who realize) fresh cut apple slices haven't been terribly successful in retail. They have been pretty good in the institutional side of the business. (The lack of success at retail) is probably because they don't compete on a price point basis with other fresh cut produce like carrots and peppers. So if they could pull 15% or 20% or 25% out of their production costs by getting rid of the antioxidant, that would change the game quite a bit. I think there are people out there that are willing to try this and see how it goes. Of course, we won't have a whole lot of fruit for a long time, so it is not something that everybody is going to be able to try for a long time anyway.

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