Once again, work done by the premier scientific body in Australia has gone overseas instead of giving benefit to Australians. Many of CSIRO’s developments are licenced first to companies overseas, so Aussies don’t get to see it. It is not that CSIRO does want to have it’s developments used here but our companies don’t always seem to get on board, so it is people overseas who see and use these many of inventions and developments first.
In the most recent case, a brilliant development by CSIRO is now being sold in the USA after it was licenced by a Canadian Biotech company. It is the Canadian company which has used the development in a very specific fruit.
So what is this amazing development?
Yes, apples that will not go brown when cut and do have any coating like lemon juice or vitamin c / calcium.
Apples go brown after slicing because of the damage to their cells, which allows an enzyme called polyphenol oxidase (PPO) to react to other cell components. This browning effect is also seen in potatoes, which is where the CSIRO research was done.
CSIRO’s development is building an anti PPO gene, which when inserted into the structure of the plant, prevents the PPO being produced and therefore the brown colour. It is another example of how genetic modification call help us.
The new apples are called “Artic Apples” and hopefully we will see them Down Under sometime soon.