So my previous apple related post got me thinking… just what is a Grāpple? I know it’s a Fuji apple, treated with natural and artificial flavoring so it “Crunches like an Apple. Tastes like a Grape! but what does that mean exactly.
From Grapple’s main website we find out that their super secret process for Grāppling is patented (USPP #7,824,723). So we turn to our friend, Google Patent Search where interestingly enough, the process is spelled out in a confusing but fairly straightforward fashion:
http://www.google.com/patents/US7824723 (bullets are mine)
1. A grape flavored post-harvest apple comprising:
- a post-harvest apple that is at approximately 35° F., the post-harvest apple having a mesocarp surrounded by a pericarp, and the pericarp including an exocarp; and
- an admixture, the admixture is about a 2% to about a 4% methyl anthranilate admixture having been applied to the exocarp of the post-harvest apple for a time period from about one minute to about three minutes, such that the amount of applied methyl anthranilate present in the admixture being sufficient to impart a grape flavor to the apple, and wherein the methyl anthranilate being present in the pericarp and the mesocarp of the post harvest apple, and wherein the post-harvest apple comprises a grape flavor.
2. The grape flavored post-harvest apple of claim 1, wherein the apple is whole.
3. A process for imparting grape flavoring to a post-harvest apple comprising the steps of:
- providing a dip of a grape flavoring admixture, the grape flavoring admixture is about a 2% to about a 4% methyl anthranilate admixture;
- dipping a post-harvest apple having an exocarp, a pericarp and a mesocarp, in the dip of the grape flavoring admixture, the post-harvest apple being whole and uncut;
- allowing the apple to remain dipped in the dip of the methyl anthranilate grape flavoring admixture from about one minute to about three minutes so as to allow the methyl anthranilate grape flavoring admixture to penetrate through the pericarp and into the mesocarp of the post-harvest apple, wherein amount of methyl anthranilate present in the admixture being sufficient that a grape flavor is imparted to the post-harvest apple; and
- storing the grape flavored apple at approximately 35° F.
4. The process of claim 3, further comprising storing the post-harvest apple for at least one month, wherein the post-harvest apple maintains grape flavor.
So now that your eyes have glazed over and you’ve stopped caring, let me translate it for you.
- Cool a whole Fuji apple (Fruit anatomy lesson for the curious) down to 35°F
- Dilute a solution of Artificial Grape Flavoring (methyl anthranilate) down to 2-4% (MW = 151.165, Est. Solubility 1860 mg/L @ 25°C)
- Submerge apple in solution for 1-3 minutes
- Store apple, eat within one month
That’s pretty straightforward right? Basically, the small size of the flavor molecule (< 800 Dalton?) allows it to permeate the outer membrane/skin – presumably pre-wax application and infuse the fruit with the “Flavor of grape”
But why stop there? [Evil Scientist Laugh]
Based on this initial research the logical extensions is that below some size/polarity threshold for flavorants, one should be able to repeat this process. So let’s start off slow:
While some of those sound kinda weird (Pineapple-apple) some of these actually sound pretty good, if not necessarily commercially viable – Buttery apple? Cotton candy apple? Hmm. And that’s without cracking open any Food Science journals. But once we start looking into the literature and webpages (e.g. http://www.fks.com/flavors/tech/Science%20of%20Flavor%20Creation.asp, http://www.fantastic-flavour.com/flavours/flavour_chemistry) it starts to become more apparent that mushrooms, celery, a variety of meats and cheeses are in relatively easy reach (barring membrane limitations).