Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Britain: 'Fresh' apples could be a year old: "Apples are being sold in supermarkets up to a year after harvesting. The "freshly-picked" fruit - stocked by chains including Sainsbury's - is treated with a chemical gas that stops it ripening during storage. The process allows produce to be sold two to three seasons after being harvested. Agrofresh, the US firm behind the SmartFresh chemical as it is known, says it locks the taste in the apples, preserving the quality. However critics insist stores should stock fresh local fruit.... The treatment, which is used in more than 25 countries, stops apples producing ethylene, the natural ripening agent that softens fruit before it rots. The nutritional content of fruit is also preserved during storage... Producers using it include Domex, which ships American apples to Britain.... Year-old apples are common in US supermarkets but it is thought that most apples on sale in Britain are no more than six months old.... The chemical is also used on bananas, melons, tomatoes and avocados, but only extends their shelf-life by days or weeks".

No comments: