It is a fact that apple fruits are coated with wax, but the wax that is generally used is edible one and is safe to consume. However, some unscrupulous producers can coat apples with petroleum-based waxes that are harmful for human health.
Apples have natural wax coating on their surface, you can observe this when you pluck an apple from a tree and rub it with your hands. The whitish kind of powder that sticks to your palms is the the natural wax on the surface of apple fruit. Likewise, when you scratch an artificially waxed apple, you will see a thin layer peeling off.
Apples are coated with wax for several reasons, like preservation, reduce loss of water, increase visual freshness and of course, replace the natural wax, because cleaning and processing of apples results in the loss of natural wax coat. This practice is very common, especially in supermarkets. Thin layer of wax is coated on apples, either by dipping, brushing or spraying with edible waxes like Carnauba or Shellac that are completely safe to consume and are not harmful.
This edible wax is not digested, but is passed out through the digestive system. On the other hand, some unscrupulous producers use the harmful petroleum-based waxes for coating of apples. If an apple looks very glossy and shiny, it is to be suspected.
To avoid harmful wax coat, it is advisable to buy apples from markets and places where apples are grown. The chances that the farmers have not waxed apples will be good here. It is also a better idea to buy the dull apples that are fresh, without any kind of artificial coating. More importantly, it is always a good practice to clean apples with lukewarm water thoroughly before eating. Also, you may use a paper towel with some vinegar (acetic acid) to wipe the apple before washing.
Another obvious way to avoid harmful wax of apple fruits is to remove the entire peel, but you might lose on certain vitamins and also the crispiness of the peel.
Please share and spread this health awareness about waxed apples with your near and dear ones because many people still don’t know about it.