What’s on the surface?

Joelle Conway

An apple a day keeps the doctor away. But is it healthy to eat an apple a day considering the amount of wax that is used to make it look fresh and shiny?

An apple with a shiny appearance may not represent quality and freshness. Apples are usually coated with wax by manufacturers to maintain their curb appeal and sales.

Apples produce natural wax. This wax coats the fruit to help retain moisture and protect the inside.

Farmers pick the apples and then wash them to remove dirt and residue. During that process, the natural wax is stripped and the shine is dulled. Thus, companies cover the apple with a synthetic wax, usually shells or carnauba wax, to make up for it.

Synthetic waxed apples appear to be healthy, shiny and delicious. However, they can cause trouble for our digestive systems.

According to nutritionist Dr. Anju Sood, although the synthetic wax is non-toxic, it is not easily absorbed by the intestines. This can cause harm to the colon, stomach and digestive tract. Eating an excessive amount of apples without removing the synthetic wax can also cause constipation.

Dr. Anju Sood recommends rinsing apples with boiling water that includes baking soda and lemon juice. The chemical reaction of the mixture removes a majority of the synthetic coating on the apple. Vinegar and boiling water also removes wax.

Edited by Hannah Alleyne, Diana Martinez-Ponce, Shelby Spradling