Paraffin wax, is classified as a chemical preservative, is used to make candy, vegetables and fruits look shiny; Paraffin wax also helps slow down moisture loss and spoilage. Paraffin wax is used in a variety of applications. One of the most uses of paraffin wax is for wrapper on hard cheeses. You may also see Paraffin wax in jars of home-canned jams and jellies; nevertheless, the U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends against the use of paraffin as a sealant.
Food-grade paraffin wax is intended edible. Paraffin wax is consist of vegetable oils, palm oil derivatives, and synthetic resins, plus other materials that pass through the body undigested and contain no nutritional value. Some paraffin wax, such as the fragranced variety sold for candle-making and beauty treatments, should never be ingested.
Paraffin wax has both cosmetic and operational purposes when used with chocolate. Adding paraffin wax to melted chocolate gives it a shiny finish when it hardens. Paraffin wax also helps the chocolate be solid at normal temperature. Paraffin wax seems as an additive in some brands of candy bars to keep them from melting in your hand. Paraffin wax is also the main ingredient in chocolate coatings such as those found on ice cream or chocolate-dipped cookies.
Paraffin wax may be sprayed on fruits and vegetables to make them shine and more appealing. Paraffin wax also helps extend the shelf life by retaining moisture. Some fruits, such as apples, produce a natural wax, which can easily be washed away with water and a little gentle rubbing; additional synthetic wax sometimes augments this natural coating, making it more difficult to remove. Generally, a quick soak in vinegar or lemon juice-enhanced water makes it easier to wipe the wax away.
Paraffin wax shows up in some surprising places, like sausages, and is used to coat cured sausage links to give them shiny appearance. Maybe not so surprising is that paraffin wax is part of the novelty candies shaped wax lips, mustaches, and miniature soda bottles filled with flavored liquid.
Culinary wax paper includes a coating of paraffin wax to make it water-resistant and non-stick. This is also useful for keeping food fresh when stored in the refrigerator.