ReTain® Revolutionizes the Apple Industry

Ideal for application on apples, pears, stone fruit, almonds, and walnuts.

Formulated as a water-soluble powder, ReTain®:

  • Inhibits the production of ethylene
  • Delays senescence of floral organs in apples, pears, cherries, almonds, and pecans
  • Reduces pistillate flower abortion in walnuts
  • Reduces abscission of flowers and young fruit in pears

Active Ingredients
Aminoethoxyvinylglycine (AVG) is a naturally occurring fermentation product that temporarily inhibits the production of ethylene, a plant hormone that affects flower senescence, fruit maturation, ripening, drop, and other processes, giving growers the ability to dial in desired responses. As a result, AVG offers tremendous value for growers of commercial tree fruit and other crops.

How ReTain Changed the Game
Every so often, a product so revolutionary is developed that it redefines an industry. That’s what ReTain did for the apple industry, as it significantly changed the way apples, tree fruits, and nuts are produced and harvested around the world.

Scientists discovered and patented AVG in the 1970s. Given the critical role of ethylene in plant biology, the ability to inhibit ethylene production with AVG was immediately recognized as having the potential for agricultural applications. However, scientists could not commercialize AVG due to its high production costs. 

When daminozide, which had been commonly used to delay apple maturation, was discontinued, the Agricultural Products Division of Abbott Laboratories (now Valent BioSciences) saw an opportunity to develop AVG for apples. During the 1990s, Abbott was able to confirm field efficacy of AVG on apples and leverage its extensive fermentation capabilities to develop a commercial formulation and improve manufacturing. ReTain was registered by the U.S. EPA in 1997 and has since become the industry standard for managing harvest and optimizing apple quality and yield.

Managing Apple Harvest
Today, ReTain is the premier harvest management tool available for apples. It slows the maturation process, extending harvest time and enabling growers to harvest with fewer pickers while the fruit matures to optimal size, color, and condition. This ensures more fruit have optimal quality going into and coming out of storage. 

Applying ReTain before the apple or pear harvest provides maximum protection against accelerated fruit drop. This is especially valuable when unfavorable weather such as high winds, excessive heat, or drought occurs prior to harvest. Delaying drop helps apples reach their maximum size. Additionally, ReTain reduces watercore and stem bowl cracking, ensuring improved packout and fruit quality.

Exploring New Opportunities
Valent BioSciences has worked diligently to expand the commercial uses of AVG to meet the needs of farmers around the world. New applications were found on stone fruit, almonds, walnuts, cucurbits, and pineapples (PinCor®).

Similar to apples, ReTain applied to stone fruit a few weeks prior to harvest can improve harvest management by allowing peaches and nectarines to develop excellent flavor without becoming soft and dropping prematurely. Delaying drop also allows stone fruit to continue to increase in size. In varieties prone to soft tip, ReTain applied prior to harvest can help reduce this condition.

During walnut bloom, ethylene causes pistillate flower abscission (PFA). ReTain blocks ethylene production and reduces PFA, thus increasing fruit set. ReTain consistently increases yield in walnut orchards that suffer from low nut set due to PFA.

As with all of its products, Valent BioSciences continues to explore new opportunities for ReTain to address the unmet needs of growers, changing the game for crops around the world.