While shopping at the supermarket we often go to the fruit and vegetable stand in order to restock on fruit and vegetables on the way. Even though we perfectly all know that it’s better to buy them in markets, we’re often under the influence of an attractive sale and we decide to buy apples, pears and beautifully presented tomatoes.
Their appearance is almost spotless, no blemishes, spots, or irregular shapes. Rarely do we ask ourselves, how is it possible that they’re so perfect?
Food manufacturers are able to do a lot to encourage consumers to buy. They use a variety of techniques to improve the appearance of the fruit. To make the skins of apples shine, they usually add shellac. This is a natural resin extracted from the feces of insects. This makes the fruit shine and it’s resistant to bruising and minor mechanical damage. An additional advantage is that the wax prevents them from going bad. This means that an apple may lay on store shelves longer.
To give a nicer appearance to the fruit, they also use carnauba wax. It’s extracted from the leaves of a Brazilian palm. Both types of rinse are widely used outside the food industry, among others, by the manufactures of floor wax.