A new apple is being launched today – and it has nothing to do with mobile phones, computers or watches.
The Cosmic Crisp, now on sale in the US, is a new variety of the fruit which took more than two decades to develop and allegedly lasts for up to a year in the fridge.
The apple is called Cosmic Crisp because of the bright yellowish dots on its skin, which look like distant stars.
The launch of the apple cost $10.5m (£8.1m).
Farmers in the state of Washington – which produces two-thirds of the United States’ apples – have the exclusive right to grow the variety for the next 10 years.
The trees take three years to produce a crop.
Aaron Clark of Yakima, whose family owns several orchards in central Washington and has planted 80 acres of the variety, said: “I’ve never seen an apple prettier in the orchard than these things are.”
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Toni Lynn Adams, spokeswoman for the Washington Apple Commission, which markets apples internationally, said: “A new apple brings excitement.
“A new variety can reinvigorate a market and industry.”
Work on developing the variety began in 1997.
Kate Evans, who co-led the apple’s breeding programme at Washington State University, said: “It’s ultra-crisp, very juicy and has a good balance of sweetness and tartness.”
She said the fruit “maintains excellent eating quality in refrigerated storage – easily for 10 to 12 months”.
“The goal, in my opinion, is to get more consumers eating apples,” she said.
“Ultimately that is the goal of any plant breeder.”