September 15, 2013

Waxed fruit?

I saw a small label on some recently purchased fruit: "protected by food grade wax." Quickly lost my appetite for that fruit. So a recent article in Science Daily caught my eye. There is more to know about edible films than I was aware of, now that ready-to-eat fruits and veggies have become popular with many consumers.

Apples, bananas and cucumbers already have a handy God-made covering, but mankind wanted more. Browned apples and bananas don't look very appetizing. So a thin layer of carnauba wax from the leaves of palm trees did the trick. Other common coatings include starch, carrageenan, gluten, whey and beeswax. Yum.

But there's something unnatural about sliced apples that last 2-3 weeks without turning brown, even with the newer process of coating them with Vitamin C. Coating foods has been done since the 1100s when Chinese merchants shipped oranges to Europe. They used melted fat from hogs. Yum again.

Definitely don't need bacteria to enter our food, but waxed fruit is still not my thing. My grandson agrees. Note the teeth marks above.