In today’s world, sustainable agriculture is gaining traction, and Apeel Sciences is at the forefront, transforming the way we preserve food. We want to explore the facts and see if there’s any truth to the negative narratives surrounding Apeel. Let’s take a more than surface look into these claims and discover if Apeel has the potential to reduce food waste, improve food quality, and pave the way for a more sustainable future.

Apeel Sciences is an American food technology company based in Goleta, California. Its edible coating product Apeel or Edipeel[1] can make avocados, citrus and other types of fruit last twice as long as usual by using a tasteless edible coating.

Apeel Sciences - Wikipedia

James Rogers

CEO of Apeel Science, James Rogers - Search Images (

James Rodgers reated Apeel to provide a better alternative to traditional post-harvest solutions available in the fresh produce industry, with the ultimate goal of reducing food waste and increasing access to fresh produce for all.

Peeld Back | Apeel

In 2012 Apeel Sciences won a $99,000 grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to help reduce post-harvest food waste in developing countries that lacked refrigeration infrastructure.  To combat this issue, Apeel set up self-service and hybrid distribution systems for farmers in countries like Kenya and Uganda to help protect their produce during its journey from farm to consumer, without the need for refrigeration.

Apeel Sciences is combating food waste with plant-derived second peels | TechCrunch

Apeel announced on Feb. 26, 2024 that James Rogers will be stepping down from his title as CEO and that the company has appointed Luiz Beling to take over the position, effective immediately. Rogers will remain on the Apeel board and keep his role as founder of the company. Over the next few months, he will also be helping Beling adjust to the role.

Apeel CEO steps down, mission remains same | Pacific Coast Business Times (

Funding by Bill Gates:

True!  Apeel received funding on two separate occasions from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, once in 2012 for roughly $100k and again in 2015 for $983k. 

However funding a company doesn’t mean the two parties are in cahoots or close friends. As a matter of fact, Apeel founder, James Rogers, states he’s never met Bill Gates.  Not hard to believe seeing as though the foundation has funded hundreds and thousands of start-ups to existing businesses over the years.  Can you imagine if Bill Gates met every individual/business owner/organization the foundation has funded?

Here are some other companies Bill and Melinda Gates foundation funded around same time.  Some may look familiar.

Land o’ Lakes, Cornell University, University of Washington , Emory University, Canadian Foodgrains Bank, National Academy Sciences, Oxfam-America, The Royal Institution for the Advancement of Learning/McGill University, The Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Meridian Institute, Action Aid USA, Global Citizen, Farm Journal Foundation, Youth Care, Hunger Intervention, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, University of Chicago, Society for Women’s Research, to name a few. 

Surely the good these organizations are doing and have done shouldn’t be discounted because once upon a time they were awarded a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation?  And what are the exact crimes old Bill committed anyway? Okay another day for that.

Another claim I’ve seen circulating is that Apeel has no transparency.  So I did a little bit of digging myself.  And literally a little bit because Apeel’s an open book.  Every question naysayers purport is hidden is clearly explained on the company’s website.

Product Safety Information | Apeel

About our product

FAQ | Food Gone Good | Apeel | Apeel

Questions? We’ve got answers.

What's In Apeel? | Apeel

Apeel is composed entirely of purified monoglycerides and diglycerides, edible compounds that can be found in a variety of foods.

How Apeel Works | Learning From Nature | Apeel

Apeel protects fresh produce after it has been picked by adding a microscopic extra layer of what already naturally exists on fruits and vegetables.

Peeld Back | Apeel

At Apeel, we are committed to transparency about our ingredients, our manufacturing process, our connection to business partners, and our impact on sustainability.

Sustainability Impact | Apeel | Food Gone Good | Apeel

By preventing food waste, Apeel also prevents the waste of resources and greenhouse gas emissions produced from that wasted food.

About | Apeel

Our founder, James Rogers, Ph.D., was driving home through the lush California farmlands while he was listening to a podcast about global hunger. He wondered: how could so many people be hungry when there was such an abundance of food growing and seeds that were so easy to spread? And if so many were hungry, how could so much of this abundance be going to waste?

This claim seemed to catch on like wildfire and made its rounds on social media.  This was quite concerning because it wouldn’t be the first time a company permitted to sell things to the public was found guilty of cutting corners and using deadly compounds in items for public consumption. When I went to Apeel’s website this is what I found:

Apeel is an extra “peel” of protection made by applying another layer of what already naturally exists on fruits and vegetables. Apeel is made of purified mono- and diglycerides that have been derived from plant oils to mimic the natural protection already existing on fruits and vegetables.

Apeel's Edipeel meets the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requirements for qualification as Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) in the United States as a surface finishing agent for fresh fruits and vegetables.

Feel free to continue to do independent research like I did to confirm the information Apeel has listed about the safety of it’s edipeel.  It’s process of getting approved and declared GRAS is the same method of many other products and foods we consume on a daily basis; organic and non-organic.  I wondered why these same products weren’t under such scrutiny.  When and why do we as public choose to believe one safety report over another?

The claim: Apeel produce coating can cause eye injuries and allergic skin reactions

An April 18 Facebook post includes images of several product safety sheets and a picture of a lime with a sticker noting it has an Apeel-brand coating.

Circled phrases on the safety sheet include, “Causes serious eye damage,” and, “May cause an allergic skin reaction.”

"The dangers of Apeel are hidden on search engines requiring digging to find out just how toxic the process of expanding the shelf life of the crop is with technology that also involves heavy metals," the post reads.

An Instagram post making the same claim using the same document was liked more than 1,000 times before being deleted.

Our rating: False

The post is about a produce coating made by Apeel Sciences, but the fact sheet describing health risks is for a cleaning solution called Apeel made by a different company. The ingredients in the coating have been recognized by the Food and Drug Administration as safe.

The document warning about eye injuries and allergic skin reactions in the post, however, is for a cleaning solution called Apeel sold by U.K.-based Evans Vanodine. The portions of the document in the post match the full document posted online by the company.

Some social media posts have highlighted the company’s early funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Those investments coincided with the company’s early focus on keeping food from spoiling in developing nations.

Fact check: Post confuses Apeel produce coating with cleaning solution (

In April 2023 posts spread across platforms like Facebook, where the claims often appeared as copied-and-pasted text posts known as copypasta. We also found copypasta posts on Instagram, TikTok, Reddit, and Twitter.

The copypasta that spread across platforms often read like this:

Cucumbers are not wrapped in plastic but there's a big sign saying it is coated in Apeel to protect freshness and reduce plastic waste. The cucumbers also have a sticker on them with the word Apeel. When you check the company out, it's funded by Bill Gates and others and the WEF [World Economic Forum] endorses it.

Online posts also claimed the coating contained trans fats, which could lead to an increased risk of heart disease. One TikTok post even used a fact-check from The Associated Press (AP) as a source for its claims.

According to a 2017 article by The Atlantic, people have been coating their produce with different artificial protective coatings for over 900 years.

Are Fruits and Vegetables With 'Apeel' Stickers Safe to Eat? |

"If you walk into an orchard, pick an apple from a tree, rub that apple on your shirt, you'd notice that it shines, and that's because you've just polished off the natural waxes and also yeasts that the apple produces in order to protect its high water content. And without that wax, fruits and vegetables would end up going all dry and nasty.

After they've been harvested, apples get washed and brushed to remove leaves and field dirt, and then they get packed in cartons for shopping to your market. This process removes some of the fruits original wax coating that actually protects the fruit.

So the apple packers re-apply a commercial grade wax, and one pound of that wax can cover as many as 160,000 pieces of fruit. So in other words, two drops of it on each apple. The waxes have been used on fruits since the 1920s. they're all made from natural ingredients certified by the US Food and Drug Administration as safe to eat and they come from natural sources such Carnauba that wax, the leaves of the Brazilian palm, Candelia wax, which is derived from a reed-like dessert plant of the genus euphorbia and also food grade shellac."

How safe is the wax on apples? | Science Questions (

It’s no secret Apple growers might even add more wax to the apple’s natural wax depending on the variety of the apples, how old the apple is before harvest and storage conditions.

“It’s a fully regulated food additive,” Chapman explains.

And it’s also perfectly safe according to the Food and Drug administration.

The food-grade wax is made from several products including vegetable-, petroleum-, beeswax-, or shellac wax or resin.
And it usually takes a drop or two on the apple to do the job.

“Like with anything, too much of something can become a problem that's why we have regulations in place,” Chapman said.

And part of that FDA regulation means produce shippers and supermarkets
are required by law to let you know if your apple has been coated in food-grade wax.

If you're concerned, you can watch for the labels, or just stop by a local farm and pick one right from the tree without the added wax.

Again, food specialists, researchers, as well as the FDA all say the added wax on apples is perfectly safe.

Many other fruits like plums and pears produce a natural wax, too.

The Myths And Facts About Wax On Apples |

The wax sprayed on apples is made from a variety of natural ingredients. These waxes are applied to apples after they are washed and brushed to remove field dirt and leaves, which also removes the fruit’s original wax coating. To preserve the apples and prevent them from drying out, a commercial grade wax is reapplied. This wax can cover a large number of fruits with a very small amount, ensuring that each apple receives only a thin coating.

The waxes used are generally derived from natural sources and are certified as safe to eat by food safety authorities. Common types of wax used include:

Additionally, the natural wax on apples contains up to fifty different compounds, including esters, alcohols like heptacosanol, hydrocarbons such as triacontane, and triterpenoids like ursolic acid2

Some synthetic esters made by combining sucrose with fatty acids and even polyethylene (a type of plastic) can be applied in a very thin layer2.

This wax coating is very thin, and its primary purpose is to prevent moisture loss, extend the storage time of the fruit, and enhance its appearance2

It’s interesting to note that the natural wax produced by apples themselves also serves to protect the fruit and contains many of the same types of compounds found in the commercial waxes2.

Why do they spray wax on apples? | Office for Science and Society - McGill University

Wax has been used to coat and protect freshness of produce since the 1920s and are certified by the Food and Drug Administration to be safe to eat.

How safe is the wax on apples? | Science Questions (

It is not just apples that are waxed. Citrus fruits, rutabagas, cucumbers, many tomatoes, melons and peppers also are treated with wax. Even jellybeans are coated with beeswax to prevent them from drying out and to increase their appeal.

Why do they spray wax on apples | Office for Science and Society - McGill University

“I have seen posts saying, don't eat anything with the Appeal sticker on it. And I've seen people saying, I checked out their website and you really can't find any information about what exactly Appeal is. And I've even seen people write, the company is very mysterious about what the product actually is and it can't be washed off no matter how hard you then you know it's all about. Well, it's funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Now, some of these claims are true, but they're only half truths. The truth is, they're pretty clear about what goes into Appeal, and they're pretty clear about who is funding the company.

Appeal's information on their website and in their patents talk about the fact that their coating is comprised of purified, monoglycerides, and diglycerides. These are edible compounds that can be found in a variety of foods. And they're plant based lipids of fats or fats. So they're the plant based fats that are oil based that are being applied to extend that shelf life, reduce spoilage, and keep produce, hopefully, out of the landfills. No, it can't be removed with water. And neither can the wax that's been used in some shape or form for hundreds of years either. So that includes cherries, plums, nectarines, avocados, bell peppers, cantaloupes, cucumbers, eggplant, grapefruit, lemons, limes, melons, oranges, parsnips, passion fruit, peaches, pineapples, pumpkins, rudabagas, squashes, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, bell peppers and the list goes on.”

Chef Mareya on EP 112: What's the deal with Apeel? Coatings on your fresh produce – eatcleaner

Take aways:

  • Wax naturally occurs, covering high-water content vegetables and fruit, like apples, to helpprotect the produce from moisture loss.
  • Wax protects apples from shriveling and nutrient loss. Without it, apples would lose their crispness and firmness.
  • Wax also protects apples from microorganisms that otherwise could enter the fruit.
  • Since apples lose their natural wax coating during the cleaning process following harvest, apple packers will re−apply a natural, food-grade wax coating to continue to protect the fruit.
  • One pound of wax may cover as many as 160,000 pieces of fruit; two drops is the most wax coating that covers each apple.

Apples and Wax Backgrounder - USApple

Only five percent of food is composted in the US and as a result, uneaten food is the single largest component of municipal solid waste. 62 In landfills, food gradually breaks down to form methane, a greenhouse gas that’s up to 86 times more powerful than carbon dioxide. 63 According to a report from the UK based organization WRAP, if food were removed from UK landfills, the greenhouse gas abatement would be equivalent to removing one-fifth of all the cars in the UK from the road. 64

Consumer food waste also has serious implications for energy usage. A study by the consulting group McKinsey found that, on average, household food losses are responsible for eight times the energy waste of farm-level food losses due to the energy used along the food supply chain and in preparation. 65

In addition, food waste is responsible for more than 25 percent of all the freshwater consumption in the US each year, and is among the leading causes of fresh water pollution. 66 Given all the resources demanded for food production, it is worth our while to make sure that the food we produce is not wasted.

Food Waste Is a Massive Problem—Here's Why - FoodPrint



In the United States, food waste is estimated at between 30–40 percent of the food supply. This figure, based on estimates from USDA’s Economic Research Service of food loss at the retail and consumer levels, corresponded to approximately 133 billion pounds and $161 billion worth of food in 2010. Food is the single largest category of material placed in municipal landfills and represents wasted nourishment that could have helped feed families in need. Additionally, water, energy, and labor used to produce wasted food could have been employed for other purposes. Effectively reducing food waste will require cooperation among federal, state, tribal and local governments, faith-based institutions, environmental organizations, communities, consumers, and the entire supply chain.



I also found independent studies on the safety and efficacy of Edible films/Edipeel

Edible films (EFs) and edible coatings (ECs) based on natural ingredients provide one of the most promising and currently investigated approaches for food products’ quality and shelf-life enhancement (Valencia-Chamorro et al., 2011). EFs can be used as covers, wraps, packages, or separation layers for food products. ECs form the film directly onto a food surface and provide a part of the final product (Bourtoom, 2008).

EFs and ECs can inhibit food senescence processes, protect it from mechanical and microbial damages, decrease escape of volatile sensitive food components, and minimize undesired modifications. They can also improve food appearance and contribute to the environment (Dhall, 2013). Due to their biodegradable nature, EFs and ECs provide a viable alternative to contamination caused by synthetic packaging and coatings. Rising public requirements for healthier food that does not contain synthetic additives, together with awareness regarding environmental issues have promoted a substantial interest in EFs and ECs and encouraged advanced developments in this research field (Bourtoom, 2008; Valencia-Chamorro et al. 2011; Umaraw and Verma 2015). An example of such a development is the utilization of EFs and ECs as a matrix for the delivery of active agents (natural antimicrobials, nutraceuticals, antibrowning agents, natural flavor, and aroma compounds). Such active EFs and ECs may effectively extend food shelf life and at the same time improve its quality and safety (Debeaufort et al., 1998; Dhall, 2013).

Emulsions - Nanotechnology in the Agri-Food Industry Volume 3

A volume in Nanotechnology in the Agri-Food Industry Book • 2016

Edible films and coatings are promising systems for the improvement of food quality, shelf life, safety, and functionality. They can be used as individual packaging materials, food coating materials, and active ingredient carriers and to separate the compartments of heterogeneous ingredients within foods. The efficiency and functional properties of edible film and coating materials are highly dependent on the inherent characteristics of film-forming materials—namely, biopolymers (such as proteins, carbohydrates, and lipids), plasticizers, and other additives. Most biopolymers are relatively hydrophilic compared to commercial plastic materials. For industrial use, it is necessary to conduct scientific research to identify the film-forming mechanisms of biopolymers in order to optimize their properties. Various practical studies have been conducted to investigate the commercial feasibility of edible films and coatings, including new process evaluations, determining safety and toxicity, regulatory assessment, and consumer studies. However, it is expected that more studies will address the practical applications of edible films and coatings within the food industry.

Edible Films and Coatings

Jung H. Han, in Innovations in Food Packaging (Second Edition), 2014


It appears we’ve consumed some form of wax or covering on our fruits and vegetables for well over 100 years.  So why are people in such an uproar about Apeel?  I researched independent studies showing the safety and efficacy of the food additives used, found the company’s fact sheets, followed the intial funding by the same organization that funded so many others, I just can’t find the smoking gun. 

With wax, you’re just delaying the inevitable. Which, true, Apeel is doing too. But in addition to extending the lifespan of an avocado by almost a week and doubling the ripeness window from two to four days, the company says it can reduce water loss by 30 percent compared to untreated avocados, and the softening rate by 60 percent.  You can coat a fruit in wax all you like, and it may look nice for a while, but you’re not tackling the dehydration and oxidation or world hunger and food waste.

My vote would be that Apeel has pretty good Apeel 😉

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