Neal Carter, founder and president of Okanagan Specialty Fruit, leads a tour at an orchard of Arctic apples last October. The company invited produce industry media, bloggers and food writers to explain how the genetically engineered apples were developed, and to talk about plans for increased production. ( File photo )

Interest from foodservice operators is growing for fresh-cut slices of the genetically engineered nonbrowning Arctic apple.

Okanagan Specialty Fruits Inc., Summerland, British Columbia, exhibited the fresh-cut slices for the first time at the Produce Marketing Association’s Foodservice Conference and Expo July 27 in Monterey, Calif.

“It was exciting for us to exhibit at the PMA Foodservice show for the first time and to give attendees the opportunity to experience the orchard freshness of Arctic Golden fresh slices,” J.F. Gamelin, director of sales for Okanagan Specialty Fruits. “Arctic apples’ nonbrowning trait offers a key benefit to the food service industry — including less prep, less waste and better taste.” 

The Arctic apples have a 28-day shelf life, compared to the 18- to 21-day average in the industry, according to a news release from the company, offering a “just-picked” eating experience.

The fresh-cut Arctic slices have multiple uses for foodservice operators, including fruit trays, salads and charcuterie, according to the release.

The company plans to offer 40-ounce bags of sliced golden and granny smith varieties to foodservice customers, and 100-count cases of two-ounce packages.

“For the first time, this year’s anticipated Arctic apple crop volume will support expanding into foodservice,” Neal Carter, president, said in the release. “We’ve been extremely busy planting in the orchards.”

The company estimates Arctic production at eight million pounds for the 2019-20 season, Carter said, with increased production for future seasons.

Okanagan Specialty Fruits plans to increase its retail availability as well, according to the release.

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GM Arctic apples heating up at retail

Okanagan Specialty Fruit names sales director