Conventionally grown fruits and vegetables are often waxed to prevent moisture loss, protect them from bruising during shipping, and increase their shelf life.
Unfortunately, at this point in time, the only way we know of to remove the wax from non-organic produce is to remove the skin, as washing will not remove the wax or any bacteria trapped beneath it.
If you choose to do this, use a peeler that takes only a thin layer of skin, as many healthy vitamins and minerals lie right below the skin.
Organically grown fruits and vegetables do not contain synthetic (petroleum-based) wax coatings. However, certain waxes are permitted in the handling of certified organic fruits and vegetables including shellac and carnauba wax.
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.
Non-organic fruits and vegetables that are commonly waxed include:
- Bell peppers
- Lemons and Limes
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.
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.