Waxed Apples Safe to Eat: Experts
   2012-02-16 18:57:13    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Fuyu

The wax flakes when Zhao tries to peel the apple with a knife. [Photo: weibo.com]

Experts have declared that "waxed apples" are safe to eat, after an internet user complained on his microblog that the apples he bought were heavily coated with wax.

According to a report by the Southern Daily, an internet user surnamed Zhao said on his Weibo page that the apples he bought felt sticky when he was washing them. Fearing that they were not properly cleaned, he used a knife to peel them. However, the apples started to flake under the blade, proving that they were wax-coated.

It's generally acknowledged that apple peels are more nutritious than the flesh, but Zhao consulted with doctors who said that wax is harmful to the human body. Many Weibo users also echoed Zhao's concern, saying that people wouldn't dare to eat the waxed apple peels anymore.

The reporter went to a fruit market in Guangzhou, in south China's Guangdong province, hoping to get to the bottom of this issue. Many fruit stall owners in the market admit that the fruits they sell are waxed to keep them fresh and make them look more appetizing.

A manager at the fruit market told the reporter that imported fruits usually require more wax, as they take longer to ship to the markets. "The waxed fruits are mainly imported apples, oranges and pears, and they all use edible wax that conforms to the national standard. Domestically grown fruits usually contain less or no wax," the manager said.

Yu Xiaolin, a professor from the South China Agricultural University, says waxing helps preserve the fruits. "It will help the fruits stay fresh after they are picked, and it's generally adopted in other countries," Yu said.

Yu told the reporter that waxing is allowed in China, provided that the fruits are cleaned and dried before coated with edible wax.

Experts and fruit stall owners say the wax on fruit peels can be easily removed by hot water, salt water or detergent.

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