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Apples are an all-American success story-each of us eats more than 19 pounds of them annually. Thanks to fruit-breeding research, we're able to enjoy more productive, healthy, and flavorful new varieties every year. And we're collecting and preserving the world's bounty of apple genestock, so that the apples of tomorrow may be even sweeter crunchier, and better than ever.
Think about the quality of the apples you buy at the supermarket: They may have been stored for as long as 9 months but you can bet they'll remain crisp, thanks to controlled-atmosphere-storage methods devised by ARS. Never before have growers had a better chance against pests and diseases in the apple orchard, thanks to new, nonchemical biocontrols. ARS scientists have toiled to harness naturally occurring yeasts and bacteria and turn them against apples' enemies.
We've even worked on bashless bagging-packaging systems that are used by wholesalers to bring you apples without bruises.
Photo by Scott Bauer.
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