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How About These Apples

February 16, 2015
Arizona cider apples

Arizona cider apples

It’s lit up the internet world with more misinformation since Cinderella was handed a safe apple. Recently the Arctic apple was introduced as the first truly non-browning apple. There are some other apples slow to turn brown but this one is different – it’s also different in that it is a GMO, and with that comes fear. Suspicion. Misinformation.

While crossbreeding slowed it, a study of genetics showed four genes that were responsible for browning of apples. Scary science words ahead folks so buckle up…it’s not so scary!

When you bruise, bite, slice or dice an apple, rupturing the apple cells’ walls, a chemical reaction is triggered between the apple’s polyphenol oxidase (PPO) and phenolics that turns the apple flesh brown. And unfortunately, that reaction burns up the apple’s health-promoting phenolics in the process. Read more here. A family of four genes controls the majority of PPO production.

While it’s true that you can spritz lemon juice or other things on sliced apples, there is no one spritzing apples as they leave the orchard or along the shipping and storing route! Remember, as discussed recently, when apples are harvested they are stored somewhere to insure that you have apples in the store. The big flush for harvest is in the fall – so those apples eaten in spring have been stored for a while. Direct from the source:

To scientifically breed Arctic apples, Okanagan Specialty Fruits’ science team turns down the expression of the apple PPO genes in a process called gene silencing, which utilizes low-PPO genes from other apples. Gene silencing is a natural process that all plants (and animals too) use to control expression of their genes. This apple-to-apple transformation is aided by time-proven biotechnology tools. In the end, Arctic apples produce too little PPO to brown. (For an even more detailed description of Arctic apple science, visit the OSF website.)

This doesn’t put other genes in the apple. It’s all apple. It has nothing to do with pesticides, RoundUp, glyphosate, poisons or population control. Five agencies have reviewed and regulated and tested the apple in development. They are not from Monsanto – Monsanto had nothing to do with this one. A small place, in comparison, called Okanogan Specialty Fruits, were the developers. It came about due to public demand, from wasted food to shipping to convenience…the same things that sell many food items.

Speaking of apples, and fruit, here’s an interesting recipe for an Apple Berry Jam – a soft spreading jam that is good with little leftovers after canning and preserving! It’s from The Best of Bridge Home Preserving.

Apple Berry Jam

2 large apples, peeled and grated or finely chopped

2 cups crushed strawberries

2 cups raspberries

2 cups red currents or gooseberries, beards removed

2 tablespoons lemon juice

5 cups sugar

In a large, deep, heavy bottomed pot combine apples, straberries, raspberries, red currants and lemon juice. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally, reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 7 minutes or until softened. add sugar in a steady stream, stirring constantly, increase the heat to high and bring to full boil, stirring constantly, to dissolve sugar. Reduce heat to medium high and boil hard, stirring often and reducing heat further as mixture thickens, for 12-15 minutes or until thickened. Test for setting point. Remove from heat and skim off any foam.

Ladle into sterilized jars to within 1/4 inch of rim; wipe rims. Apply prepared lids and rings; tighten rings just until fingertip tight. Process jars in boiling water canner for 10 minutes. Transfer jars to towel lined surface and let rest at room temperature until set. Check seals; refrigerate any unsealed jars for up to 3 weeks. Makes about six 8 ounce jars.


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