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Apple that stays fresh for months developed by Australian scientists

Last modified on 5/1/2010 at 3:13:00 PM. Total 312 views.

An apple that stays fresh for months has been developed by Australian scientists and could be on shop shelves by next year. Researchers have spent the last 20 years developing the fruit, which they have now dubbed "the world's best apple."

The apple – at this stage known as RS103-130 – stays "crispy" for 14 days in a fruit bowl, but if kept in a fridge will remain fresh for "months on end".

Its longevity is also obtained without genetic modification – its disease-resistant properties come from a gene found in the Asiatic apple malus floribunda.

The apple has been created by Queensland government experts in Australia.


Apples may be among our favourite fruits, but they rarely stay crispy for long enough

Tim Mulherin, Primary Industries Minister, said the state government was looking for a commercial supply partner to put the new apple on the market as early as next year.

"The beauty of this fruit is that you can buy it and stick it in a fruit bowl and it will maintain its firmness, texture and crispness for up to 14 days," he said.

"Another advantage is that if it goes into longer term storage, it will retain its freshness for months on end.

"This new variety is sweet. It ticks the other boxes too because it is disease resistant, so requires few or no fungicides.

"Initial taste tests have been outstanding. Out of the five apple types tasted, the new variety scored the highest – even better than the Pink Lady which is very popular in Britain."

Scientist Dr Simon Middleton has been working with apples at the Applethorpe Research Station since 1980 and said he was impressed by RS103-130.

"This variety is unique in that it is naturally resistant to apple scab, also called black spot, a disease that costs the apple industry £6m a year in Australia alone," he said.

"There is a huge demand from growers to find a disease-resistant variety that requires few or no fungicides."

Source: Telegraph.co.uk

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