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Results!

So now that I’ve kept you all in the dark, I figure I’d post the results from my little apple experiment. It turns out that the white residue scraped off the apple skin was closest to polyethylene resin in chemical composition. This means it was probably the wax put on the skin, to make it all shiny and pretty so that we consumers are more likely to buy them. And I had probably scraped most of it off when I washed it in the morning, explaining why it appeared in little blotches all over. Now, that still doesn’t answer 2 very important questions.

1) Why did the resin turn white upon contact with the air?

2) Why on EARTH did it burn my tongue when I ate it?

So, good little researcher that I am, I decided to get on the internet and investigate this apple wax business. First, I looked up the wax itself, and found that apples are coated with either carnauba or shellac, two natural, non-petroleum based wax formulations that have been FDA approved, and are used in all sorts of applications like pharmaceuticals, makeup, etc. Carnauba wax is shaken from the harvested leaves of the carnauba palm (usually from Brazil). Shellac wax is a resin secreted by the lac beetle, an insect found in Asia, to protect its eggs. Lac production by this insect is similar to honey production by bees.

So we’re eating beetle secretion. Yummy!

And after much poking and prodding, I found what may be a logical reason for the color change:

“Under certain conditions of high humidity or moisture, apples coated with shellac wax can take on a milky appearance. The whitening of a shellac coating is actually a cracking of the coating, which occurs when free moisture, or condensation, is present on the surface of the fruit.  When this happens only a physical change of the shellac occurs.  The edibility or taste of the product is not affected.”

Hmmm. Maybe the humidity of the lab (??) caused the shellac to turn milky white. But, this doesn’t explain why it was burning my tongue!

Oh well. Lesson learned. Always buy organic produce. Or peel your fruit. I’m lazy, so I’ll fork over the $$ to buy the organic (which is better for you anyways).

5 Responses to “Results!”

  1. kledus says:

    haha….this is why I only eat frozen pizzas!

  2. dkem says:

    Mmmmmm, frozen pizzas! And you’ve noticed that I’ve signed up for this! Doesn’t mean I’ll enter journals though…just doing it because you made me. You’re not my mom!

  3. admin says:

    Awesome! Thanks for joining :) And watch, there will be some random thing that you’ll feel like commenting on, and then you’ll go, oh, maybe I should write in LJ…..and that’s how it will start.

  4. admin says:

    So nutricious you two! Really, bachelors and their frozen pizzas. *shakes head*

  5. kledus says:

    welcome to the cool people world

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