Paraffin wax is very common in a lot of food items because of its properties that allow food to look shiny alongside a lot of other attributes that make it so popular.
That might be more of a reason for you to wonder if it is actually safe to consume and it is vital to know more about the things that we are putting into our bodies.
Can you eat paraffin wax?
Paraffin wax that is actually food-grade is alright to consume. They are made from ingredients that contain zero nutritional value and remain undigested inside our guts. Therefore, it is better to not consume such elements much because over time they can cause problems even if they are edible.
There is paraffin wax that is classified as food-grade which inherently means that they are alright to consume and are edible.
However, it is also worth noting that paraffin wax is made from materials such as vegetable and palm oil as well as synthetic resins which actually are not properly digested by our body. These elements also do not have any nutritional value.
Therefore, it is best that you do not consume too much paraffin wax because it can be quite unhealthy for the body even if it is considered edible.
There is another type of paraffin wax that is not food-grade. This means that though both of these wax have similar names, the other one is absolutely not safe for consumption.
These paraffin wax are scented and are usually used in the making of products such as candles and other beauty products. This type of paraffin wax is not edible and must not be consumed because it can cause stomach problems and other health issues.
Is Gulf wax household paraffin wax food-grade?
Gulf wax is a type of highly refined paraffin wax. A lot of recipes involving chocolates and jelly candies actually call for gulf wax. It is a good sealing agent and it also makes the food shiny while keeping it free from spoiling over time.
This also means that gulf wax is indeed food-grade and safe to consume even if it does not contain any nutritional value. This is why it is best to consume it in limited amounts even if it is completely edible and safe to eat.
Food grade paraffin wax VS paraffin
There are some differences between food-grade paraffin wax versus normal paraffin that you should look out for.
Edible paraffin wax versus normal paraffin are made of different things.
Normal paraffin is a highly refined mineral oil whereas food-grade paraffin wax is a chemical preservative that is derived from vegetable and palm oil as well as synthetic resins.
Normal paraffin that is not classified as food grade is not safe to consume because of the components they are made up of.
They might contain a lot of by-products that are toxic for the human body which is why they are not safe for consumption. Food-grade paraffin wax on the other hand is approved for consumption.
Even though they are chemical preservatives at the end of the day, they are not toxic for the human body if consumed safely and in limited quantities only. They are edible and used in limited quantities with proper procedures in all recipes.
There are a lot of different and versatile uses when it comes to paraffin versus food-grade paraffin wax. Paraffin is used in the medical industry, they are used in the cosmetic industry, it is also used to produce candles.
Some paraffin wax varieties have scents present that make them ideal for candle production.
Food-grade paraffin wax on the other hand is used to make fruits and candies look shiny and pretty. They are used as preservatives that prevent them from getting spoiled over time.
It is also used in chocolate recipes that give them a glossy finish as well as preventing them from melting at room temperature.
What happens if you eat paraffin wax?
There can be a lot of issues that you must be aware of if you end up consuming paraffin wax.
Even if you are eating food-grade paraffin wax, consuming it in large amounts can be quite harmful. This is because they do not contain any nutritional values and remain undigested in the stomach.
As a result, it can lead to stomach or gut problems for people who tend to have weaker stomach or bowel issues. It can also lead to constipation for some people.
Some people are very allergic to paraffin wax used in chocolates and candies. It is very important to check the labels before buying such products because if you have allergies then it can cause nausea, vomiting, and other stomach issues.
Paraffin wax poisoning:
If you have consumed paraffin wax that is not food-grade and used in cosmetic products or candles then it can cause something known as paraffin poisoning.
There are a lot of toxic elements used in these products and it can lead to symptoms such as vomiting, abdominal pain, bowel obstruction, and constipation. It can cause tongue swelling and problems with breathing as well.
In that case, you must contact for medical attention immediately.
How much paraffin wax is safe to eat?
Food-grade paraffin wax is edible and safe to eat. However, since it has no nutritional value and passed through the stomach without being digested it is better to not consume too much paraffin wax at once since it can cause stomach problems.
It is best to not use more than a recipe has called for and to look at labels and not consume too many store-bought candies and chocolates containing paraffin at once. If you are buying fruits and vegetables from the market, clean the coating thoroughly.
How do you use food-grade paraffin wax?
There is a multitude of ways in which you can use paraffin wax.
Fruits and Vegetables:
You can use paraffin wax sprays on your fruits and vegetables so that it is able to retain its moisture and is not prone to rotting. It also keeps the fruits and vegetables looking fresh for a longer period of time.
If you end up doing this then ensure to wash your fruits and vegetables thoroughly before consuming them.
Chocolates and candies:
You can also use paraffin wax in chocolates and candies so that they end up shiny once they are done being prepared. It also keeps them from melting at room temperature.
If you are using paraffin wax in your recipes at home then you must be very careful. It is very flammable so ensure to melt it in a microwave for safety measures. Melt it until it slowly starts to melt then you can use a spatula to melt the rest by stirring.
Use only as much as the recipe calls for because using too much can cause digestive issues. Paraffin wax is great at retaining the shape of chocolates and without it, the chocolates can end up without a proper shape.
Can you eat paraffin wax when pregnant?
If the paraffin wax is food-grade and in chocolates and candies then it is perfectly safe for pregnant women as long as the person is not allergic to it.
If the paraffin wax is an outer coating on fruits and vegetables then pregnant women must clean it thoroughly before consuming it as it can cause stomach issues.
If the paraffin wax is not food-grade then pregnant women or not, you must avoid eating it at any cost because it can cause paraffin poisoning and it can especially be harmful to people with a compromised immune system such as pregnant women.
It can cause symptoms such as vomiting, stomach pains, bowel problems, constipation. In more severe cases it can also swell the tongue and make it hard to breathe.
What can I use instead of paraffin wax in chocolate?
If you are allergic to paraffin wax or simply hesitant to consume it then there are other options you can opt for in your chocolate recipes.
It is derived from vegetable oil and is good at holding goods together and being a good additive to chocolates to make them shiny and firm.
Made from cocoa powder and vegetable oil, this is great to put in chocolates when you are using it for molding purposes or garnishing or to help set the chocolates.
You can whip up a formula of your own at home using light corn syrup, melted chocolate, and vegetable shortening. It can be a bit messy, but it can work just as well as paraffin if used properly.
Paraffin is great at binding chocolates together, making them shiny and preventing them from melting. It is commonly used and is fully edible. However, many people might have problems with paraffin wax because it cannot be digested and contains zero nutrition. You can use substitutes in that case.