Were you tempted to buy an apple by its glossy shiny look that made you add to your basket? If yes, think for a second, because that shimmery effect on Apple is caused by the coating of artificial wax.
Fruits like apple and avocados are coated with wax to attract consumers. The glossy look persuades one to buy for its fresh and sleek look.
But why coat with wax?
An apple straight from the farm has a whitish powder coat which is the natural wax; most fruit farmers cover their fruits in a coating of wax to help preserve them. In order to do this, they first remove the natural wax and then cover them with edible wax.
If you buy apples out of season, they are preserved. Mostly in market fruits and vegetables are wax coated to prolong the shelf life which can keep them up to 9 months.
Wax coating also helps slow down the ripening process thus retaining the juiciness and firmness of the fruit.
These manufacturers claim to preserve the fruit and prevent fungus and bacteria from building, it’s also known the wax is used to add coloring and make the fruit to look more appetizing. However, if you pour hot water on these glossy fruits you’ll see the wax melting.
There has been a lot of controversy about the ingredient used to make this wax since it’s technically not considered good, most contain preservatives and fungicides. Some times they can also contain artificial coloring or dying agents to improve the appearance of wax.
Many ingredients commonly used in the wax have been linked to an increased risk of developing cancer. Although most conventional wax ingredients are known to harm human health.
Apart from the hazardous wax coating, there are safe edible waxes such as vegetable wax, synthetic or an animal wax which are comparatively less harmful.
But how can you avoid waxed fruits and vegetables?
Grow your own food. Well, this is the best way to get rid of any mess that involves with chemical-food industry. But this is not quite possible for the urban dwellers.
One of the simple ways is to choose fruit that has no unusual shine from an organic store. However, this does not guarantee that there is no presence of wax coating over it.
The other way is to peel off the skin but remember; the skin has more nutrients than any other part, so stop removing the skin as the skin adds more fiber content to your diet.
So is there a way to remove this hazardous coating?
Yes, there is!
Clean it with lukewarm water or wipe it with vinegar acid or acetic acid before washing. It removes the wax coating thoroughly.
As a consumer, you should take every step to make sure you know what you eat.