Oct 19, 2018Cornell University professor breeds new apples
Apple lovers in central New York can crunch into two new breeds of apples developed by a professor at Cornell University that are only available for orchards part of Crunchtime Apple Growers.
According to a story in The Oswegonian, the student newspaper of Oswego Stae University, Two local orchards that grow and sell these new apples, SnapDragon and RubyFrost, are Fruit Valley Orchard in Oswego and Behling Orchards in Mexico, New York.
Susan Brown, professor of horticulture at Cornell University, spent the last 11 years developing NY 1 (SnapDragon), which she said took a much shorter time than the typical 20 to 40 years it usually takes to perfect a breed and release it. SnapDragon was bred to have similar attributes as Honeycrisp apples and is better quality to hold up longer.
“We often get asked if these apples are GMO,” Brown said. “While Cornell supports GMO research, these apples are from traditional breeding, where two apple trees are crossed and the seeds are then all hybrids of the two parents. They may resemble one parent, or the other, or be a unique combination, just like children in a family, but our families are huge – several thousand.”
Brown said NY 2 (RubyFrost) was the result of an experiment of crossing two varieties to prevent browning after cutting the apples. The resulting apple is on the tarter side, is high in vitamin C, deep burgundy color and good for storage for growers. Both have three traits Brown said she believes are important for consumers: crispiness, juiciness and crunch.