Waxes are applied on fruits and vegetables to:

• Help retain moisture during transporting and marketing
• Help inhibit mold growth
• Protect from bruising
• Prevent other physical damage and disease
• Enhance appearance

The apples have a natural wax coating on their surface. Most of this natural wax coating is lost during the washing by scrubbing the surface of the fruits after harvest to remove dirt and pesticide residues. This makes a fresh wax coating necessary.

The waxes applied on apples may be from plants, animals, food-grade petroleum products, insects like wax from bees or chemicals like morpholine. You might have seen the boards which say “Coated with food-grade vegetable-, petroleum-, beeswax-, or shellac-based wax or resin, to maintain freshness.” If it is apple normally one are two drops of wax is needed to coat. Normally these waxes are not absorbed and excreted without reaching our blood.

The most common wax used on apples is a vegetable wax called canauba wax or shellac.

Morpholine is not a carcinogen or teratogen in rats and mice and the accepted daily intake is 0.48 mgIkgbw/day. But it can react with nitrites in the body to form N-nitrosomorpholine, a genotoxic carcinogen in rodents. Nitrate is present in ground water and the natural manure used in organic form enhances it concentration too much. Nitrates may be converted to nitrites in our body. Certain processed meat products can also have nitrites.

It is important to use the minimum amount of wax. Only in few countries this is controlled and there may be much more than allowed amount.

I am against animal- or petroleum- or chemicals based coatings. These have nothing to do with the healthy fruits or vegetables.

Even only plant and beeswax are used for coating pesticides and other chemicals are used. The residues are present mostly even after wax coating. Wax coating does not enhance the quality of the fruits or vegetables. Waxed apples may look glossy, shiny, firm and inviting, but they could soggy or even lacking the crispy texture.

It is bad to remove the peel of the apple because it contains important phytonutrients. The peel has six times more antioxidants than the meat. It is better to remove the wax with vinegar or fresh lemon juice with added baking powder. Use a tissue towel with a bit of vinegar or lemon juice + baking powder to wipe the fruit before washing and this is the easy method to remove the wax.

An apple a day keeps the doctor away only if it is fresh, not wax coated and with less pesticide residues. Where is it? We can ask Adam or Eva…