March 23, 2015, Summerland, BC – Non-browning Arctic apples have been approved for commercial sale in Canada, as the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Health Canada have concluded their respective reviews.
In a letter sent to Okanagan Specialty Fruits by the CFIA, the agency concludes that Arctic apples “are as safe and nutritious as traditional apple varieties” and states that its official decision document will become publicly available on the government website at a later date.
In a publicly available statement, Health Canada states their assessment has led them to conclude that an Arctic apple “is safe for consumption, still has all its nutritional value and therefore does not differ from other apples available on the market.”
These conclusions mark the culmination of more than three years of review since Okanagan Specialty Fruits, a small, grower-led company that developed Arctic apples, first initiated the government deregulation process with the Canadian regulators.
Canadian approval of Arctic apples follows U.S. deregulation, which was granted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on February 13, 2015.
“Arctic apples’ non-browning trait creates a wide array of benefits that offer value to the entire supply chain, especially consumers,” OSF president Neal Carter explains. “Arctic apples have been planted for 12 years, and have completed review processes with the USDA, FDA, CFIA and Health Canada.”
OSF’s Arctic apples do not brown when bitten, sliced or bruised, which helps reduce food waste and improves their fresh cut suitability. One of the fastest-growing categories of the fruit and vegetable industry is the fresh cut segment, bolstered by the convenience factor and upward trend in consumption of healthier foods. It is estimated that Arctic apples will first be sold in small, test-market quantities in late 2016, with increasing amounts of fruit becoming available each successive year.
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