Are food coatings unsafe for consumption?

By May 3, 2023 Environment, Health

We came across several posts claiming that Edipeel – a food coating created by Apeel Sciences to keep fruits and vegetables fresher for longer – may have harmful effects.

In support of these claims, some posts also include a safety data sheet on a product called Appel that includes serious eye damage and allergic skin reactions under its hazard statements.

What is Edipeel?

Apeel Sciences (Apeel) is a company based in California, United States (US) that was formed in 2012 with the aim to combat food waste. It has created an edible plant-based foot coating called Edipeel that claims to keep produce fresher for longer by slowing down oxidation and moisture loss.

According to Apeel, its food coating is made of purified monoglycerides and diglycerides that have been verified by food regulatory authorities around the world, including the World Health Organisation. Edipeel is seemingly colourless, odourless, and tasteless.

The company has also stated that Edipeel is used on some avocados, apples, and limes in the US, on some English cucumbers in Canada, and on some avocados and citrus fruits in Europe.

Image credit: Apeel Sciences

Monoglycerides and diglycerides are made of fatty acids and may be produced through the breakdown of plant or animal-based fats and oils. Both monoglycerides and diglycerides are approved food additives in the US and even locally, in Singapore.

Safety warnings

The safety warnings that are included in the social media posts are not for Edipeel but for a hard surface cleaning product also called Apeel.

The cleaning product, called Apeel orange cleaner, is owned by a company called Evans Vanodine, whose company logo is also included in the safety data sheet. The full safety data sheet can also be found on the company’s website.

Image credit: Evans Vanodine

Evans Vanodine has stated that the hazards listed in the safety data sheet apply to the concentrated product, which is intended to be diluted before use. According to the company, the diluted product is not hazardous.

Further, Evans Vanodine has also clarified on its website that it has “no relation to Apeel Sciences and should not be used to preserve fruits and vegetables”.


Is Edipeel safe for consumption?

There is presently no evidence that Edipeel is unsafe for consumption. The safety data sheet of a cleaning product was wrongly circulated as that of Apeel Sciences’ product, perhaps to mislead audiences.

Hence, it is false that Edipeel – the food coating created by Apeel Sciences – is unsafe for consumption. While products or brands with similar names may cause confusion to the public, it is essential to verify information, especially those with the potential to cause mass fear, before circulating the same.

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