Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Be Careful When Eating Apples

It has been recently proven that the adage "An apple a day keeps the doctor away" does keep a person healthy. The skin also provides a good source of anti-oxidant, and fibre to cleanse the intestinal system. But what about the wax used to coat them to keep them fresh? There have been many warnings in email advising consumers to peel off the skin of an apple before biting into it. In fact, one email provided graphic images of 'toxic' wax coating on apples and advise consumers to remove the skin of an apple.


A website has addressed this issue by disputing the danger of consuming wax (which is from Mother Nature) on apples or other fruits:

Are apples and other fruits coated with wax okay to eat? Yes! According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the wax is natural, non-petroleum based, and approved for use on all kinds of foods.

Just-picked produce, including apples, are coated with wax by Mother Nature to help prevent them from drying out and becoming mushy. Before these products are delivered to markets for sale, they are washed and rinsed of dust and chemical residues, but about half of the original wax coating is lost during this cleaning process. As a result, FDA-approved natural wax is added to make sure that produce is protected during transport, storage, and sale, as well as to make them look more appealing and appetizing. Your apples may seem smothered in wax, but about one to two drops of natural wax is all that's added to each apple. Amazingly, one pound of the wax used in this process may actually cover up to 160,000 pieces of fruit.

Wiping and washing produce before eating or cooking it is recommended to help remove dirt, a certain amount of bacteria, and, yes, some of the wax. You can use regular tap water to accomplish this task, or you could even try one of several new fruit and vegetable wash products on the market.

If you are still squeamish about the skin, by all means remove it although it would have robbed you of that all important anti-oxidant and fibre.


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