There is a growing awareness about the wax coating on fruit and vegetables. Now that the information has come to light, people are showing concern with regard to eating the peel with the wax coating. Some people prefer to discard the peel in an attempt to avoid consuming the wax coating. In fruits like apples, if you discard the peel, you are also throwing away a lot of the nutrition and fibre content.
Most of fruits and vegetables we find in the stores today are coated with wax. Wax helps to retain the moisture and delay spoilage. When fruits and vegetables are plucked, they continue to grow. They ripen, get overripe and decay naturally (if allowed to) after they have been harvested.
Is it safe to eat this wax? – Yes
The wax used to coat fruits and vegetables is edible wax and has no health dangers or risks associated with it at all. So, cast your fears aside and forget about the existence of the wax. Go ahead and eat your fruit like the wax isn’t there.
The reason it is considered safe to eat wax on fruit is that our digestive system does not digest wax and is not affected by it either. It passes through our system as is and poses no danger or threat to our digestive tract at all.
If you are overly concerned about the wax and do not want to eat it then you can easily remove it. Soaking the fruit or vegetables in vinegar will cause the wax to come off. However, it is advisable to do this just before eating, as the fruit or vegetable will spoil much sooner once the wax is removed.
Something About The Wax
The wax most commonly used for coating fruits and vegetables is carnauba wax procured from the Brazilian palm tree leaves. This wax is totally safe to eat and is also used in other food items like sweets and pastries. Many cosmetics like lipsticks, sunscreen, mascara etc. contain carnauba wax.
The other varieties of wax used for coating fruits and vegetables are beeswax, shellac, white mineral oil and petroleum jelly. However, the most popular and commonly used is carnauba. This wax is exported all over the world from Brazil.
Why wax fruit and vegetables?
Some fruit like apples naturally produces their own wax which gives it a glossy coat and a shine. Fruits and vegetables are waxed for a number of reasons. Waxing helps to prevent the loss of moisture in fruits and vegetables. It keeps fruit and vegetables like apples, cucumbers and bell peppers firm and crisp. The wax coating helps to slow down the natural ageing process of the fruits and vegetables thus giving them a longer shelf life.
Eating fruits and vegetables with wax on them is perfectly safe but neither we promote nor we advise you to do so. It is solely at your discretion. If you prefer to buy them un-waxed, you can do so at the farmers market where you get farm fresh produce.