Cosmic Crisp: New variety of apple debuts in Washington

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Scientists at Washington State University in Wenatchee have come up with the new variety of apple, which has been in development over the last 20 years, according to the Associated Press. Its name was inspired by the contrast of the white pores against the apple's red skin.

"Cosmic Crisp is the first big release the Washington industry is going to have all to itself," Kate Evans, a lead scientist at WSU's Tree Fruit Research & Extension Center, told the AP.

Apple breeding, which has produced other varieties such as the Kiku, Ambrosia, JAZZ, Opal, Braeburn, Pacific Rose, Snapdragon and SweetTango apples at programs in New Zealand, Canada, Japan and Europe, developed as a way for growers to expand their markets and to move away from relying on a limited variety of the fruit for their income. Diversifying orchards means cashing in on premium prices of licensed niche apples and creating competition among breeders to develop the next favorite and flavorful apple.

"We used to grow all red delicious and golden delicious," said Steve Lutz of Columbia Marketing International, a marketing firm owned by apple producers. "We're taking what used to be a macro-market and cutting into smaller and smaller pieces with these new varietal apples. This industry has been highly successful."

For at least one decade, Cosmic Crisp will be available for planting only to Washington farmers while they develop the apple and conduct tests including ones that will explore how consumers react to the apple variety, the AP reported.

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