This warning about Kinder Joy causing cancer has been circulating since 2014. It claims that :
“Kinder Joy contains wax coating which is also used in styrofoam containers. That is why Kinder Joy don’t stick to each other when eating it. Our body needs up to two days to clean the wax. Make sure you stop eating Kinder Joy. This wax can cause CANCER. Share if you care.“
Is there any truth to these claims? First, let us break down the claims to easily digestible portions :
- Styrofoam containers use a wax coating.
- The same wax coating is used in Kinder Joy.
- The wax coating prevents the chocolate from sticking to each other when you eat it.
- Our body needs up to two days to “clean the wax”.
- The wax can cause cancer.
Now, let’s find out what’s true and what’s false…
1. Styrofoam containers use a wax coating
False : Styrofoam, which is a type of polystyrene foam, is naturally hydrophobic. That means it naturally repels water. Styrofoam containers therefore do not require a wax coating. Only paper cups and food containers will require a wax or polyethylene coating to make them waterproof.
2. The same wax coating is used in Kinder Joy
False : Since styrofoam containers do not use any wax coating, this claim is automatically false. But let’s forget about the first point and just find out if wax is even used in Kinder Joy. Here is the list of ingredients used in Kinder Joy (in descending order) :
SUGAR, VEGETABLE FATS (PALM, SAL), SKIMMED MILK POWDER (19.5%), FAT REDUCED COCOA POWDER (4%), WHEAT FLOUR, TOASTED WHEAT GERM, WHEAT STARCH, BARLEY MALT EXTRACT, EMULSIFIERS (LECITHINS [SOY])(0,37%)(INS 322), VEGETABLE OIL (SUNFLOWER), WHEY PROTEINS, FLAVOURINGS (ARTIFICIAL)(0,13%), RAISING AGENTS (AMMONIUM BICARBONATE (0,07%)(INS 503ii), SODIUM BICARBONATE (0,01%)(INS 500ii)), SALT.
No wax, of any kind, is listed as an ingredient but it is possible that paraffin wax may be an unlisted additive.
3. The wax coating prevents the chocolate from sticking to each other
False : Paraffin wax, as well as other kinds of food-grade waxes, are commonly added to chocolates, candy, hard cheeses and baked goods to ensure that they remain solid at room temperature and/or to give them a shine.
4. Our body needs up to two days to “clean the wax”
False : Paraffin wax, as well as other kinds of food-grade waxes, are inert and indigestible. That means whatever wax you consume will not be absorbed or change its form or chemistry. It will just pass right through your gastrointestinal tract and get excreted in your poop.
5. The wax coating causes cancer
False : Food-grade waxes have been used as food preservatives and additives for thousands of years. The most likely target of this warning is paraffin wax, which is commonly sold as baker’s wax or canning wax and have been used as a food additive since the 1930s.
There is one way paraffin wax can potentially cause cancer, but it’s not by ingestion. A South Carolina State University experiment showed that burning paraffin wax candles for 5-6 hours in an enclosed space can produce significant amounts of harmful and potentially carcinogenic chemicals, including formaldehyde.
This warning is yet another of many fake warnings about “dangerous additives” in our food circulating on the Internet. It prays on our fear of the unknown additives in processed food. As they say – you only fear what you don’t know. But now we know that this is nothing but a bunch of baloney.
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