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Cosmic Crisp Apple That Lasts More Than A Year Hits US Stores

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Cosmic Crisp apple, which lasts for more than a year in storage, is on sale in the US grocery stores. Exclusively grown by Washington state farmers, the newly launched apple was in development for 20 years. The launch of the new apple reportedly costs $10 million.

The new sweet and crisp apple variety, a cross between Enterprise and Honeycrisp apple varieties, was in development by Washington State University since 1997. According to Cosmic Crisp website, the apple was invented by WSU researchers, including pome fruit breeder Kate Evans, after decades of cross-pollinating, tasting, and testing.

The Cosmic Crisp apples naturally contain higher levels of acidity and sugar, and one can reduce added sugar in baking recipes, the researchers said. Further, it is naturally slow to brown when cut and maintains its texture and flavor in storage for more than a year.

The name Cosmic Crisp was chosen after the tiny bright dots resembling the night sky that are scattered all over the dark red skin of the apple. Cosmic Crisp's website quoted tasters saying the striking lenticels on the apple surface reminded them of outer space and the cosmos. Further, "Crisp" links to its parent, Honeycrisp.

Cosmic Crisp was developed through a technique named cross-hybridization, and not through genetic modification. It features both Enterprise variety's resistance to browning and disease and Honeycrisp's sweet flavor.

Washington state's farmers are exclusively allowed to grow the new variety for the next decade, and a strict licensing system restricts the farmers to grow the apples in other parts of the country. The farmers have planted more than 12 million Cosmic Crisp trees.

In the U.S., apples are the second biggest selling fruit after bananas, and Washington is the biggest apple producing state with most popular varieties the Golden Delicious and Red Delicious.

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