The advent of Ramadan every year hikes up the demand for fruits. This is because Pakistani absolutely love to eat fruit-chat and make delicious fresh juices for Iftar and Sehr. When buying fruits, you always pick out the one that is glowing, looks fresh and ripe, but there is a reason why they appear like they do.
The technique is called fruit waxing. It involves covering up certain fruits and vegetables with a layer of synthetic wax, usually made of petroleum based products, in order to prevent moisture loss, wrinkling of the skin and increase life of the fruit. The most alarming ingredient added to the wax to give it a glowing surface is SOAP! It might also contain other ingredients of concern like ethyl alcohol and milk casein.
Ashraf Chaudry, the very famous Pakistani business expert and mentor, shared a video on his timeline recently. In the video, a women, presumably from Karachi, holds an apple in her hand and demonstrates just how much wax is added to a fruit in Pakistan. Take a look..
Warning: You may never eat apples the same way ever again!
So the burning question here is: ARE WAXED FRUITS SAFE TO EAT?
The safe answer is NO. This is because accumulation of the ingredients present in the wax can lead to diseases and ailments in the body. Having said that, it is not easy giving up the fruit that is supposed to keep the doctor away, is it? What we should do here in Pakistan, just to be safe, is keep loving apples just like we always have, but make sure that we wash it as thoroughly as we possibly can. There are some coatings that are water resistant, so in that case, you would have to peel the skin off.
Non-organic wax is used to treat the following popular fruits and veggies:
-Lemons and Limes
We hope you have a safe and healthy Ramadan!