Okanagan Specialty Fruits® Announces Arctic Gala® Variety Takes One More Step Toward Commercialization; Neal Carter Comments

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Tue. April 9th, 2024 - by Jenna Plasterer

SUMMERLAND, BRITISH COLUMBIA - Okanagan Specialty Fruits® (OSF) is progressing toward the commercialization of its latest apple variety, Arctic® Gala, as the company recently received the green light from Canadian regulatory agencies to proceed.

Neal Carter, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Okanagan Specialty Fruits

"We applaud our Canadian agencies for their efficient review of the Arctic Gala. This is an important step in our efforts to add a fourth apple variety to the Arctic® family of apples and continues our sustainability efforts to reduce unnecessary apple waste," said Neal Carter, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer. "Our ongoing commitment to innovation and expanding the Arctic apple lineup reflects OSF's dedication to meeting the evolving needs and preferences of consumers, culinary professionals, and foodservice partners. With its vibrant red skin and crisp, juicy flesh, Arctic Gala is sure to be a hit among apple enthusiasts."

As a press release explained, Health Canada (HC) notified OSF that it has no objection to the food use of the Arctic apple event in the Gala apple variety, noting that the event was no different than the three varieties previously approved by the agency and now commercially grown by the company: Arctic® Granny, Arctic® Golden, and Arctic® Fuji.

The Arctic Gala was approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in 2021 and is currently under review by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Arctic apples became commercially available in 2019, after Arctic Golden and Arctic Granny received regulatory approval from the USDA, FDA, CFIA, and HC in 2015, followed by Arctic Fuji in January 2018.

Okanagan Specialty Fruits recently received the green light from Canadian regulatory agencies to proceed with the commercialization of its latest apple variety, Arctic® Gala

OSF also received authorization from the Plant Biotechnology Office of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), which noted that the Arctic Gala does not display any novel traits and is substantially equivalent in use and safety to other commercially available apples.

The flavorful apple variety was developed by turning off the enzyme responsible for enzymatic browning, polyphenol oxidase (PPO). This resists browning caused by bruising and slicing and reduces the number of apples damaged throughout the supply chain. The removal of the apple’s PPO also extends the shelf-life for OSF’s fresh-sliced products to 28 days, benefitting retailers, consumers, and the foodservice industry.

As it pushes toward commercialization for this variety, OSF also looks forward to future releases of Arctic Honey and Arctic Pink.

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