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Topical Tuesdays from The Week Junior – New apple variety stays fresh for a year

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Scientists in America have spent the last two decades cross-breeding a new variety of apple which, if kept in the fridge, will stay fresh for a year.

Fruit breeders at Washington State University used Honeycrisp and Enterprise varieties to create this new super-sweet apple, which they've named the Cosmic Crisp because there are small bright flecks on the apple’s red skin that looks like stars in the cosmos.

They chose these two varieties to cross-breed in order to grow a tree that produces fruit with high levels sugar, to give it a sweet taste, and acidity which keeps it fresh for so long and gives it a crunchy texture.

The Cosmic Crisp went on sale in the USA in December, but for the next 10 years, only growers in the state of Washington will be allowed to grow them.

Over the last three years these growers have been planting the trees in orchards, and this year they expect to produce around 50 million of these new apples.

But by 2025, they aim to be selling two billion apples a year.

  • Discuss in class whether you think cross-breeding food is a good idea or not
  • Write an advert for the Cosmic Crisp, talking about its benefits such as its taste and how long-lasting it is
  • Pen an imaginary piece about a conversation between items of food in the fridge. What will the Cosmic Crisp apples be thinking when they're there for a year while other foods come and go every day?
  • Look online and discover more about cross-breeding in plants and animals. What examples can you find, and what were the reasons for the cross-breeding?

To find out more about The Week Junior and to download its free resources, please go to schools.theweekjunior.co.uk.

See the whole range of free Topical Tuesday resources here.