Fruit is the candy of the food groups. They have a variety of natural, sweet flavors and, unlike artificial man-made candy, they also provide us with an abundance of vitamins and nutrients that benefit our health. Unfortunately, many of the fruits that we enjoy are covered in wax that is made from the same ingredient that motor oil comes from, and it can have serious effects on your health.
FRUIT WAX COVERINGS
Most fruit farmers and manufacturers cover their fruits in a coating of wax to help preserve them. In order to do this they first remove the natural wax that originally covers the fruit through washing. They then coat fruits such as apples and oranges in a petroleum-based wax.
Although these manufacturers claim that the wax is needed to preserve the fruit and preventfungus and bacteria from building up on them, it is also known that the wax is used to add coloring and to give the fruit a more favorable appearance. This has led many to question the necessity of this wax use, with people wondering whether it is needed to keep fruit fresh or just used to make us buy more of it.
FRUIT WAX INGREDIENTS
There has been a lot of controversy surrounding the ingredients that are used to make this wax. Since it is technically not considered a food ingredient, companies are not required to disclose exactly what the wax is made of.
It has been confirmed that many different types of these waxes contains allergens such as gluten, dairy and soy.
Most conventional wax coatings contain preservatives and fungicides. Sometimes they can also contain artificial coloring and dyes meant to improve the appearance of wax. Many dyes commonly used in food products have been linked to an increased risk of developing cancer.
HOW TO AVOID HARMFUL FRUIT WAX
Although most conventional wax coatings contain ingredients that are known to harm human health, there are many produce-distributing companies that have made a point to use wax that is made of only natural ingredients.
Some brand-name fruit wax coatings that don’t contain harmful ingredients include: Tal-Prolong, Syncera and Semper Fresh.
Organic fruit waxes are made using natural ingredients including beeswax, wood resin and carnauba wax, which is made from the leaves of the palm tree. They also contain no artificial preservatives, petroleum-based ingredients or fungicides.
If you’re adamant about eating fruit that isn’t covered in any wax other than the one that it produces itself, buy your fruit from the farmer’s market when you know the fruit is in season, as this will ensure that they will not have any preservatives added to it.