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stearic acid

Description: the saturated fatty acid with an 18 carbon chain and has the IUPAC name octadecanoic acid.

mineral oil

Description: various colorless, odorless, light mixtures of alkanes in the C15 to C40 range from a non-vegetable (mineral) source, particularly a distillate of petroleum.

polydimethyl siloxane

Description: Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) belongs to a group of polymeric organosilicon compounds that are commonly referred to as silicones. PDMS is the most widely used silicon-based organic polymer, and is particularly known for its unusual rheological (or flow) properties.


Description: A resin secreted by the female lac bug, on trees in the forests of India and Thailand. It is processed and sold as dry flakes (pictured at right), which are dissolved in ethyl alcohol to make liquid shellac, which is used as a brush-on colorant, food glaze and wood finish.


Description: A natural wax produced in the bee hive of honey bees of the genus Apis. It is mainly esters of fatty acids and various long chain alcohols. Purified and bleached beeswax is used in the production of food, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals:as a coating for cheese, to protect the food as it ages. As a food additive, it is known as E901 (glazing agent).

carnauba wax

Description: known as “queen of waxes”and usually comes in the form of hard yellow-brown flakes. It is obtained from the leaves of the carnauba palm by collecting and drying them, beating them to loosen the wax, then refining and bleaching the wax.

polyvinyl alcohol

Description: Polyvinyl alcohol has excellent film forming, emulsifying and adhesive properties. It is also resistant to oil, grease and solvents. It is odorless and nontoxic. It has high tensile strength and flexibility, as well as high oxygen and aroma barrier properties.

polyethylene glycol

Description: PEG is used as an excipient in many pharmaceutical products. Lower-molecular-weight variants are used as solvents in oral liquids and soft capsules, whereas solid variants are used as ointment bases, tablet binders, film coatings, and lubricants.

The most common coatings are wax coverings for fruits, lipid films to protect meat products and chocolate coating for a range of food items.

Edible coatings must be “Generally Recognized As Safe,” a category established by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Edible films may be cellulose ether’s, starch, hydroxypropylated starch, corn zein, wheat gluten, soy protein and milk proteins.

Food-processing companies considering use of protein-based films should be aware that many consumers have a wheat gluten intolerance, milk protein allergies

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