By Chelsea Bryant
We all know the frustration of anticipating the juicy apple you bought last week and then the following disappointment of seeing it’s gone mouldy. Well new research means this soon could be a thing of the past. A new breed of apple has been launched in the US which reportedly can last for up to a year sat in your fridge.
The new apple product (the fruit as opposed the company) is called Cosmic Crisp which name is derived from the small white dots that are scattered around the dark red apple skin, these dots seemed to resemble the night sky or the cosmos and so Cosmic Crisp was created. It was first cultivated by Washington State University in 1997 and now is due to launch into US sales after a whopping $10m investment into the launch of the apple. Since 1997, two breeds of apple (Honeycrisp and Enterprise) have been crossed to create the Cosmic Crisps iconic increased sweetness, crispness, firmness and acidity which means that less sugar can be used while baking with them, researchers claim.
Kate Evans, who leads the Pome Fruit Breeding at Washington State University, explained that the Comic Crisp apple was not made through genetic modification, as many consumers feared, but through “cross-hybridization”. It was the crossing of two varieties of apple that provided the characteristics of higher levels of acidity and sugar which leads to resistance to browning and disease. To improve the fridge-life of the fruit they are also coated with an organic wax as this prevents air from accessing the fruit, protecting it.
Only farmers in Washington State are exclusively allowed to cultivate these apples for the next decade and more than 12 million of these apple trees were planted 3 years ago in anticipation for the new Cosmic Crisp launch. Considering that Washington is the major distributor of apples in the US, there have been concerns that other apple varieties such as the Golden Delicious and the Pink Lady could face fierce competition as 18 million apples are set to be distributed in the US in December alone.
So with over 450,000 boxes being shipped across the US in December 2019 and an estimate of 2.1m boxes to be shipped next year, the potential market for these products is huge. 4 of these apples are currently retailing at about $39 online, posing the question; does the fact it will last a year outweigh the fact it was made to be eaten?