Cornell releases two new apple varieties under new program

08/02/2013 03:49:00 PM
Vicky Boyd

SnapDragon and RubyFrost could very well be new shades of nail polish, but they're not.

They're actually names of two new apple varieties, formerly known as NY1 and NY2, developed by the Cornell University apple-breeding program, according to a news release.

Before being released, the apples underwent rigorous agronomic review as well as a year of intensive consumer testing.

snapdragon apple varietyKevin MaloneySnapDragonSnapDragon's name is derived from its crispy texture.

The sweet flavor also was appealing to consumers, likely making it a hit for snacking.

The variety gets its texture from a Honeycrisp parent.

It also has a spicy-sweet flavor.

Cornell apple breeder Susan Brown recognized its promise and fast-tracked the variety for commercialization.

Not only was it a hit with consumers, but she suspects it should also be popular with retailers.

“Retailers will appreciate its other qualities as well, because although SnapDragon’s harvest window starts relatively early—in late September—its long storage and shelf life means retailers may be able to offer it with consistent quality for a longer time than Honeycrisp,” Brown said in the release.

RubyFrostSusan BrownRubyFrostRubyFrost, a later variety, stores well and should appeal to consumers who also like Empire and Granny Smith, according to the release.

It has a crispy juiciness and a nice sugar-acid ratio.

Both varieties have been more than a decade in the works and mark a new way for varieties to be commercialized in the Northeast.

In the past, universities developed varieties and released them into the public domain, no strings attached.

In May 2010, Cornell and the New York Apple Growers formed a partnership for managed releases.

Under the program, growers pay royalties on trees purchased, acreage planted and fruit produced. The income that's generated is used to market the new varieties and support Cornell's apple-breeding program.

The first trees were planted commercially in 2011, and about 400 acres are now growing across the state.

A limited volume of the two varieties will be available for the 2014 season, according to the release.



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