Canada Health Alliance

Coatings on Fresh Produce and the 2023 Apeel Controversy, Edible Films: Extending Shelf-Life and Preserving an Appealing Appearance

OrganicEye (White Paper)

The FDA has created groups of specific related foods for the purpose of establishing acceptable tolerances and/or to set limitations for the use of direct human food ingredients. Waxes and coatings fall under the category of surface-finishing agents. These are “…substances used to increase palatability, preserve gloss, and inhibit discoloration of foods, including glazes, polishes, waxes, and protective coatings.”

Today coatings applied to produce to extend the quality and shelf life are considerably more sophisticated than the application of a traditional coating of beeswax (a material approved for use in organic production).

[Apeel Sciences] has slowly moved away from using individual product names in their marketing and promotional materials to concentrating on using just the word “Apeel,” which means the names EdipeelTM and OrganipeelTM are being subsumed. Edipeel is a product for conventional producers and Organipeel is approved for organic produce.

Edipeel is Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) with the FDA as a surface finishing agent for fresh fruits and vegetables comprised “entirely of a mixture of food grade, highly processed glycerolipids derived from edible plant oils, specifically the food additive mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids,” sourced from recycled plant materials.

Organipeel is registered with the EPA as a fungicide with a very short – and not very informative – ingredient list. The product is described to the EPA as “Provides reduction of spoilage and decay caused by non-public health microorganisms on the surface of unprocessed fruits and vegetables”

Image: NatureFriend @ Pixabay

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