Did you know that apples produce their own wax?
This wax is commonly referred to as “bloom” and appears as a white coating on the apples.
This natural coating helps to preserve the fruit during the growing process .
The bloom, or natural wax coating is usually removed when the apples are washed during the picking and packaging process. But since an apple is a living thing till its eaten, the fruit continues to produce wax as part of its ripening process till it perishes.
Many other fruits produce wax such as plums, pears, etc. The natural wax produced by the apple serves several vital roles.
Natural wax helps the apples resist moisture loss; enhances the fruit firmness, and slows down the natural degradation of the apples.
Remember, apples are alive even after they are picked and will continue to live, provided they have sufficient resources and an acceptable environment.
The waxy coating can appear milky sometimes, but if you rub it gently, you can actually get it to it shine. The natural wax on the fruit of the apple contains about fifty individual components belonging to at least half a dozen chemical groups. The major cyclic component of apple fruit wax is called ursolic acid and is highly water-repellent.
Is it safe to eat the natural wax?
How do we know it’s safe?
One point to note about waxes is that they are indigestible by humans. Humans do not have the ability to break down waxes and absorb their various components. Waxes simply pass through our digestive systems untouched. There are many more types of natural waxes out there produced by various plants and animals such as beeswax produced by honeybees, bayberry wax produced from the surface wax of the fruits of the bayberry bush, soy wax produced from soybean oil, etc. All of them are harmless and simply excreted by humans.
Lots of major commercial apple growers and marketers apply an additional edible commercial wax on top of the natural wax to help preserve apples for longer in industrial cold storage sites. This edible commercial wax, is poisonous if it is some cheap grade wax.