Grower of the non-browning Arctic® apple sliced fruit range, Okanagan Specialty Fruits™ (OSF), has been given the green light to expand its range to include Arctic® Fuji apples. After being approved by both US and Canadian regulators, Fuji apples were given the final tick of approval by the FDA in April. The company has now just planted Arctic® Fuji trees in their orchards in Washington state, so it will be a couple of years before the trees have matured enough to harvest the fruit.
"OSF's newest non-browning Arctic® apple variety, Arctic® Fuji, just recently completed the voluntary review process with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)," said Neal Carter, President of Okanagan Specialty Fruits™. "This was the final step required in the regulatory process. The announcement follows Arctic® Fuji approvals by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS) granted September 23, 2016, and Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Health Canada on January 30, 2018."
"Arctic® Fuji is 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," he continued. "We have an extremely talented science team that is always working on something new. Our focus, for now, remains on continuing to develop non-browning apple varieties that consumers already know and love. Arctic® Galas will be next!"
Presenting Arctic® apples at United Fresh
Okanagan Specialty Fruits™ will be exhibiting their apple products at the United Fresh Expo in Chicago in June. The company said they are excited to discuss the news of the newly-approved Arctic® Fuji apples at the show and will be presenting what advantages Arctic® apples can bring to customers.
"Arctic® apples’ unique non-browning trait can offer advantages to every segment of the supply chain as growers, processors, foodservice, retailers, and consumers will all benefit from reducing unnecessary waste and improved product quality," Carter noted. "We look forward to discussing these benefits with visitors at our booth."
But he added that OSF will be doing more than discussing the benefits of Arctic® apples, with visitors to the booth having the opportunity to sample some of the fresh apple slices themselves as well as the company's other product - ApBitz™ dried apple snacks. "We are excited to be sampling our newest variety this year so we will have Arctic® Granny ApBitz™ snacks on hand of course so everyone can taste the crunchable innovation for themselves. We will also have Arctic® Golden fresh slices available to try. Plus, some educational infographics and delicious recipe cards to share."
Arctic® Granny ApBitz™ Snacks nominated as Innovation Awards finalist
ApBitz™ are fry-cut dried Arctic® apples. Because one of OSF's values is to reduce food waste, the company made use of apples that were not able to be used for the fresh sliced packs and innovated another use for them in the form of ApBitz™. The product has been named as one of the 48 finalists for the United Fresh 2019 Innovation Awards, in the Best New Fruit Product category.
"We were thrilled to hear that our Arctic® Granny ApBitz™ dried apple snacks were named as a finalist for an innovation award," Carter shared. "Fruit always comes off the tree in different sizes and not all the apples that are harvested are suitably sized for fresh slices. Since one of our core initiatives is to reduce unnecessary food waste we didn’t want any of the unsuitably sized apples to go to waste, so we developed Arctic ApBitz® dried apple snacks which are just as healthy, crunchy and delicious as our fresh slices."
Carter concluded by saying that exhibiting at United Fresh provides a valuable opportunity to forge new connections and partnerships. "We have also learned many of the customers with whom we currently engage will also be present," he added. "So, it’s a good opportunity to touch base with many people at once! We look forward to seeing old faces, meeting new ones, and sharing our company’s most recent developments."
Okanagan Specialty Fruits™ will be at Booth #11029 at United Fresh in Chicago.