>What role does PPO play in the plant, you might ask? In some plants, PPO plays a defensive role – for example, tomatoes produce high levels of PPO when attacked by pests or pathogens. In contrast, apples produce very low levels of PPO, and only in very young fruit. Its presence is probably left over from apples of ages ago, playing no role in today’s apples.
It sounds like the appendix or tail bones in humans. He does mention in the last paragraph that PPO's may be antioxidants, but whether PPO's are needed or not is not known. Unfortunately, if this takes off it will be much later down the line if we find out there are adverse side-effects.
To be fair, there is currently no known health issues with GMO plants, AFAIK.
When would they discover a use for PPO in Apple's?
I agree that it'd be interesting to see some data on what exactly the change has done, if anything, but there's no guarantee it requires anything like what you suggest.
Edit: If you look to the comments section on their website's post on this, they address this and other issues. Would be ideal to have some peer-reviewed research available, though.
"Ingredients: Apples, Calcium Ascorbate (a blend of Calcium and Vitamin C to maintain freshness and color)."
Break the skin near the stem with thumb nails for an inch or so
along a great circle line, then grasp between palms with the stem
between the proximal joints of your thumbs, and press the
thumb joints together while trying to pull the apple apart.
Once the apple breaks, put one half aside for a few hours and see if
the interior surface browns. YMMV with apple type & bruising.
I suppose that breaking the fruit divides it between cell walls,
while cutting breaks cell walls along the cut. Enjoy.
Unfortunately, my world view doesn't include, or understand, pre-cut apples.
More broadly, pre-sliced apples are convenient for schools and daycares (much like frozen fruit is convenient). Things like this might make it more likely for convenience stores to offer more fruits since they are shelf-stable a bit longer.
I now understand my world view was rather narrow in this regard. A whole spectrum of equally valid methods for apple consumption are now clearer to me.
But previously, I was unaware of the seemly widespread under-served demand for pre-cut apple.