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Nov 7, 2010 11:09 AM

What are they coating apples with these days???

I bought a bag of apples the other day, and I don't know what they coated these babies with, but it practically takes a paint scraper to get it off!

It feels tacky, oily, and waxy all at the same time. Washing - even with Dawn dish soap - does NOT even come close to taking it off. I've had to hang a piece of flour sack cloth next to the apples and use it to sort of scrub this stuff off.

It's weird . . .

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  1. Is it the clay? I've seen that on organic apple farms. I think you're suppose to soak the apples and then scrub.

    1. I know what you mean. The honeycrisp apples I bought last week felt sticky after I ran them under the water, and they made my hands greasy??? Weird.

      1 Reply
      1. re: teemo

        Yes! That's exactly the same thing that happened to me! I had the devil of a time getting whatever it was off my hands!

      2. I buy some things organic, apples are one of them. Compare the coating between a normal one and an organic one. It's actually kind of scary...

        14 Replies
        1. re: piano boy

          I'm with Piano Boy on this...apples are one fruit that you would want to buy *organic* definitely, if you can. See the "dirty list" if you are not sure...apples are on it.

          1. re: Val

            don't buy organic apples unless you know what you're doing!
            Many apple diseases are HIGHLY carcinogenic... much more than the pesticides!
            [if you're at a farmer's market, I'm sure they'll be able to tell you more about what apple scab looks like, among other diseases].

            1. re: Chowrin

              Can you please provide some evidence of this? I have been eating and growing organic apples for years and have never heard anything like this.

              1. re: Chowrin

                @ chowrin

                I think what you are referring to are naturally occuring chemical compounds found in fruits and vegetables, not in diseases which affect the plants. Almost impossible to injest enough to be harmful.

                Please, can you explain your comment more thoroughly?

                1. re: toodie jane

                  no, def. the diseases. other compounds in stuff like basil, sure, but not apples as far as I know.

                  1. re: Chowrin

                    There are compounds in all fruits and vegetables which are antioxidants. Specifically, in apples, there is caffeic acid. This is also found in many other fruits and vegetables. In very very large quantities, caffeic acid (and just about any other substance we normally ingest) can have carcinogenic properties. In normal quantities (as found in fresh fruits and vegetables), it has beneficial qualities as an antioxidant.

                    However this has nothing to do with diseases of apple trees that would cause carcinogens to be concentrated in the apples.

                    Everybody gets up in arms about this or that substance being carcinogenic. Those saccharin studies that purported to prove saccharin to be a carcinogen? In order to get the dose of saccharin they were feeding those mice (or rats, I forget which they were using now) you would have had to drink 800 cokes a day for 2 years. You would have DROWNED the very first day from trying to ingest that much! In those quantities, ANYTHING is a carcinogen.

                    So what diseases in apples are supposed to leave carcinogenic substances? I haven't been able to find any information on this.

                    Not trying to be argumentative. Just trying to understand what we're talking about.

                2. re: Chowrin

                  Maybe to the apples! Besides, apples that badly infected or affected by disease aren't going to look very good and are unlikely to show up on the vendor's table.

                  And I've raised apples, I KNOW what apple scab looks like. Nowhere near as bad as corn smut, and people will still eat that. Scab is a cosmetic problem. Cut it off and eat the apple anyway. It's just a surface blemish.

                  And btw, last time I bought apples (a couple of weeks ago) it turns out the "regular" apples, sprayed with who knows what and coated with something else unidentifiable, cost as much as the organic produce. I probably WILL buy organic next time.

                  1. re: ZenSojourner

                    "Nowhere near as bad as corn smut, and people will still eat that."
                    Hey! Ease up on my huitlacoche! It's a delicacy, and is $12 a pound wholesale!

                    1. re: Veggo

                      Aaaack! *guh guh guh*

                      I support your right to eat whatever you want. Please, just don't . . . . TALK about it?

                      *scrubbing tongue and trying to FORGET!*


                    2. re: ZenSojourner

                      apple scab is NOTHING you want to eat. which is why I say, know what you're doing.

                      and yup, the apple's still fine... which is also why I say know what you're doing. I'd be upset with a farmer throwing out produce that's still edible (discounting on the other hand...)

                    3. re: Chowrin

                      Oh my god! And people have been eating apples since Eve! Are you telling us that that's where all the cancer came from? Eve was such a witch!

                      1. re: Caroline1

                        See, God knew what he was talking about!;-) We should be crucifying Johnny Appleseed, not revering him.

                      2. re: Chowrin

                        Chowrin, I am genuinely interested in hearing about this, but my own (admittedly not very thorough) research has yielded nothing to substantiate it.

                        Can you point me to any research showing this to be true?

                        1. re: visciole

                          guy i heard it from is ten years dead, at least. try e-mailing purdue or cornell? they're the folks in the research business, from what I understand.

                  2. Opinions vary between silicone and Krytonite!

                    1 Reply
                    1. Some apples exude their nectar through their skin with a result similar to what you describe. It's a sign of their ripeness and sweetness. I don't know whether the apples you bought are one of those varieties, but you might try licking a spot to check whether it tastes sweet and nectary. Or there's always the peeling option...

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: Caroline1

                        Oh no, this is something not normal. I know they coat fruit and vegetables with oil or wax or something, but this is worse than the average coating. It's been awhile since I bought fresh apples so this may have snuck in when I wasn't looking in the past 5 or 10 years, but it's definitely not anything natural.

                        1. re: ZenSojourner

                          I agree with Caroline 1. I picked about 8 bushels of apples this fall from an 85 year old orchard that's been abandoned the last dozen years. When the apples were picked there was of course nothing on them. In the month since I picked them those not wrapped for long term storage have developed a waxy coating on them similar to what you describe. It'ss difficult to remove and leaves my hands feeling coated as well. Nothing wrong with the apples themselves, they're still firm and crispy. I think the fruit produces a sort of natural protective coating that helps keep it from shriveling and drying.

                          BTW that clay coat mentioned upthread is a product called "Surround". We use it and a number of our local organic truck farmers use it. It's great not only for protecting apples and pears but for protecting winter squash plants from borers and squash bugs ( :-( which we found out after the fact). It's harmless, just rinse your fruit well to wash it off.

                          1. re: morwen

                            We had a small orchard, with three kinds of apple trees. My grandmother had one as well. I think she had 5 or 6 varieties. I've never, in 50 years, felt this kind of coating on an apple, no matter how long it had been in storage. This is the first time I've come across it even in a grocery store apple.

                            That's all I can tell you.

                            1. re: ZenSojourner

                              It's a mystery. I absolutely know the orchard hadn't been worked in any way and the apples I picked weren't treated with anything at all. Maybe it's an odd result of the type of summer we had here.

                              1. re: morwen

                                Maybe some varietal peculiarity?

                                There is a different "feel" to long stored apples, but it's not like this. I think other posters further down are right, it's some kind of wax. I'm not sure what food grade shellac would feel like, LOL!

                                1. re: ZenSojourner

                                  I picked Staymens, Cortlands, Black Arkansas, Romes, and several varieties I couldn't identify. Went out yesterday and randomly checked some of the wrapped apples and they're starting to "wax" too but not as much as the unwrapped ones. But it is on all the apples I picked. Doesn't seem to be hurting them.

                                  I agree it's unusual whatever it is. Feels a little sticky though not like the wax on storebought apples. But yeah, I'm using a flour sack towel to get it all off. It definitely interferes with caramel sticking to dipped apples.