Fresh apples for sale – one year old

A new chemical treatment means that apples can be kept for a year - and sold in shops as if they were freshly picked yesterday.

The method, known as Smartfresh, was approved by the EU last year and supermarket chain ICA is the first in Sweden to sell apples that have been treated this way, reported Göteborgs-Posten.

Neither Axfood, which owns the Hemköp and Willys chains, nor Coop is selling fruit which has been treated with the Smartfresh method, and critics say that too little is known about the consequences of the technique.

Swedish apple growers have also rejected the method.

However, it is not currently possible to test whether fruit is fresh or Smartfresh – and in fact a year old.

A number of short scientific studies have examined the method, according to Katarina de Verdier at fruit wholesaler Saba trading.

“The objective has been to prevent ageing so as to preserve the vitamin C. But the studies I’ve seen show that it doesn’t work so well,” she told Göteborgs-Posten.

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