French firm wins worldwide rights to apple co-developed by Purdue

A French company has obtained exclusive worldwide rights to a disease-resistant apple that's the fruit of a long-running breeding program involving Purdue University.

Benoit Escande Editions SARL recently won the rights to the Juliet apple that's known for its long storage life, smooth, shiny skin, lack of browning and a crisp texture.

The apple is the product of a cooperative breeding program involving Purdue University, Rutgers University and the University of Illinois that began in 1945 to develop apples resistant to a serious fungal pathogen that causes apple scab.

The three-university cooperative had received royalties on the tree sales as well as any related merchandise sold under the name Juliet, and will now also receive royalties on the fruit.

The Juliet apple is gaining popularity for organic production because its resistance to apple scab means growers need significantly less pesticides.

The trademarked apples are grown in France by more than 120 growers who distribute them throughout Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Canada.

Eighteen apple selections have been named and licensed through Purdue’s Office of Technology Commercialization and 20 other selections are under evaluation. Among the better-known varieties on the market are GoldRush, Pixie Crunch, CrimsonCrisp, Enterprise and WineCrisp.

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