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

11:36 a.m. Karst: It seems like a lot of investment but you have had to wait quite a while to get any return. How do you manage that as a business?

11:37 a.m. Carter: We’re patient. I think agriculturists in general have to be patient people, particularly tree fruit growers. So we’re not people who look at the venture capital money and expect 100% return in three years. We’re looking down the road long term, developing sound science around an interesting realm of new products with a goal to achieve success in the market place.

11:39 a.m. Karst: What about the concern that consumers won’t be able to tell if something is poorer quality now (in regard to non browning apples)?

11:40 a.m. Carter: People seem to latch on to the non-browning part of it. What we have done is inhibited enzymatic browning in fruit and from a food science/technologist perspective; I think those people understand they are in a continuous battle against enzymatic browning. But what it doesn’t mean is that the fruit won’t brown. When it bruises, a bruise will be the first step in a cascade of reactions associated with fungal and bacterial decay. All of those are rich in a second enzyme that creates browning. So, all sorts of things that are driving secondary browning are still present in the apple. So you will get bruises and marks and stem punctures and all the current defects that exist in the apple industry that result in culls. There will still be culls. This technology is really more aimed at products that have a value added step to them. But it will certainly remove superficial scuff marks and finger bruising. But if you have a bruise it will still be a bruise and the current technology available in packing facilities will identify those bruises and kick them into the cull line.


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