Many of you may not be aware that apples with a shiny or glossy skin may not be fresh and of good quality as you may be thinking. They are frequently coated with a layer of wax to make them look more alluring.
While shopping for fruits you might have come across apples, pear or kiwis coated with wax. We remove the skins from the fruits or clean them using flowing water.
But have we ever wondered whether eating fruits coated with wax are injurious to our health.
Fruit waxing is the process of covering fruits with artificial waxing material. Natural wax is removed first, usually by washing. Waxing materials may be either natural or petroleum-based.
Wax coatings used on fruits must meet FSSAI regulations. All relevant stakeholders are required to label fresh fruits and vegetables that have been waxed. Fruits coated with food-grade waxes approved by FSSAI are generally safe to eat. Edible wax which is approved under FSSAI’ s regulations are safe to eat, say health experts
My Medical Mantra spoke with a few doctors to get to the bottom of this issue. While speaking to My Medical Mantra, Dr Rupinder Kaur Murjani, MD (Medicine), stated, “Actually, it depends on what type of coating is being used. Mostly, edible coating is used on most of the fruits and vegetables. Fruits with edible coating are safe for consumption.”
She added, “But, petroleum based coating has number of harmful effect on our body. Most of the fruits have their own natural wax; this does not harm the body. But petroleum-based wax can affect your digestive system. It may even pose a health risk in the form of respiratory infection and other infections too.”
Dr Kaur further said, “The natural wax is not harmful but the wax used to preserve fruit for long life can’t be digested and can harm to colon and intestine.”
Dr Revat Kaninde, a general physician in Mumbai, stated, “Many fruits and vegetables have a natural coating of wax upon them. FSSAI has laid down rules on what kind of edible wax can be used upon the fruits. But adulterated inedible wax, which has not been approved by the FSSAI can be hazardous to our health. Eating fruits coated with this wax can cause allergies. It is advisable to soak fruits in warm water before eating them.”