I recently had a discussion over some fruit that rotted a lot faster that we expected. I was told that this was a good sign because it meant that the fruit was grown more naturally (probably without preservatives).

Is it a common practice for industrial agriculture to apply preservatives to fruit?

this website and this other claim that lack of wax causes this effect

they also claim this effect here

  • You are skeptical if chemical preservatives applied to fruit work? Or just if they are actually used in commercially distributed fruit?
    – Chad
    Commented Jul 12, 2012 at 15:07
  • 2
    We want to focus our attention on doubtful claims that are widely held or are made by notable people. Please provide some references to places where this claim is being made.
    – Oddthinking
    Commented Jul 12, 2012 at 15:08
  • Ugh, looks complex: "Conventionally grown kiwifruits were firmer than organic ones and remained significantly firmer until 35 days of storage. This is in contrast to what was observed by Hasey et al.,who found organic kiwifruits as firm or firmer than conventional kiwifruits, and by Benge et al., who did not find any differences in firmness between organic and conventional kiwifruits after harvesting, but observed a higher incidence of soft patches in conventional kiwifruits after 10 days of storage." Source
    – Oddthinking
    Commented Jul 12, 2012 at 16:42
  • @chad the latter, yes Commented Jul 12, 2012 at 20:33
  • 1
    @Oddthinking I added a couple of sources. Commented Jul 12, 2012 at 20:34

1 Answer 1


Per Raffaele Porta et al. in 2013, edible coatings was to found be extremely advantageous to preserve the characteristics of fresh-cut fruits and vegetables at their peak. A review of various preservative treatments for color preservation and preventing texture loss in fresh cut fruit and vegetables can be found here.

"Different technologies have been so far used to prolong the shelf-life of fresh-cut fruits and vegetables. Among these, almost all of the chemical treatments (sulfite, citric acid, ascorbic acid derivatives, cinnamate, benzoate, and cyclodextrins) confere off flavors, and many of the most effective substances added are recognized as unsafe.

A relatively simple technology, such as the application of edible coatings obtainable from inexpensive raw materials, is effective against both browning development and textural deterioration happening during the management and storage of fresh-cut products.

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