Friday 20th January, 2012St. Macartan's Students Highly Commended at Young Scientist Competition
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St. Macartan’s College students Killian Lavelle and Colin Todd were highly commended by the BT Young Scientist Judges last week for their project entitled, “Can Irish Grown Dessert Apples Substitute Imported Apples”. Interviewed by now fewer than three national media organizations, Killian and Colin caused quite a stir, particularly on Matt Cooper’s Today F.M. evening news programme with their claim that they could save the country almost E40m if the  findings of their project found credence within the fruit producing fraternity in Ireland. After surveying local shoppers, the Sem students found that the most popular apple purchased locally was the Pink Lady. They also found that the Pink Lady apple was selected by shoppers for its sweetness and firm texture. Killian and Colin then sourced as many apples as possible and using a refractometer and fruit texture analyzer tested to find an apple which best matched shoppers taste. Working with apple growers in Co. Armagh, Killian and Colin found that an Irish grown apple called the Rubens performed very well in their test. They found that the Rubens had a superior firmness and similar sweetness to the Pink Lady and if grown to replace the current market leaders could significantly decrease the number of apples imported into the country and the negative environmental impact caused by the importation of these apples from as far away as New Zealand.