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Photo: ARS scientists discovered that certain calcium salts protect apple slices from changes in color, taste, or texture. Link to photo information

Fresh-cut Apples Ready as a New Convenience Food

By Kathryn Barry Stelljes
October 3, 2000

Sliced apples that stay fresh for two weeks may soon be available in schools, grocery stores and salad bars nationwide, thanks to research by U.S. Department of Agriculture scientists.

Scientists with the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service in Albany, Calif., discovered that certain calcium salts protect apple slices from color, taste or texture changes. Mantrose-Haeuser Co., Inc., of Westport, Conn., then developed a proprietary blend of vitamins and minerals based on the research that keeps cut apples fresh for up to two weeks in the refrigerator. The company sells the product as Nature Seal to the food service industry.

“This is a great example of USDA partnering with industry to create nutritious products that consumers want,” said ARS Administrator Floyd Horn.

Surveys by the Washington Apple Commission in Wenatchee, Wash., indicate that school children are likely to eat more apples if the fruit is served cut rather than whole.

“Children in some school lunch programs already enjoy these apples,” Horn said. “Any research that leads to increased consumption of healthy food is money well spent.”

ARS and Mantrose-Haeuser have patented the process.

An article on this research appears in the October issue of ARS’ monthly magazine,Agricultural Research. It can be viewed online at:


Scientific contact: Dominic Wong or Attila Pavlath, ARS Western Regional Research Center, Process Chemistry and Engineering Research Unit, Albany, CA; phone (510) 559-5621, fax (510) 559-5818, /

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