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Sunday, June 30, 2013

Essay on Food Benefits and Toxicology

INSTRUCTIONS:  Research the following categories: Bees wax, carnuba wax, orange seeds, limonoids, hesperidin.  For each, interested chemistry, health benefits in humans, toxicology limits.

            This substance produced by bees is composed mainly of the esters of fatty acids and fatty alcohols, paraffinic hydrocarbons, and free fatty acids (Kuznesof 1). Basically beeswax is usually used in the production of candles; however, it also has various uses for human beings. This substance is utilized by humans through cosmetics. Beeswax is mixed with various oils and manufactured into salves in order to maximize its benefits for the skin which includes providing a soothing and protective coating to the skin (MAAREC 3). Apart from its cosmetic use, beeswax is also added to food supplements, chewing gum and food additives to serve the purpose of glazing, coating and acting as carriers (Kuznesof 1). However, like any chemical substance, this may cause several allergic reactions to some people like skin irritation because of some of its chemical properties (Munro, DiNovi, Knaap, and Kuznesof 9).

Carnauba Wax
            Carnauba wax is a refined wax that is taken from a Brazilian tropical palm tree known as the Copernicia cerifera. This substance is mainly used as a glazing agent, bulking agent, acidity regulator and carrier (“Carnauba Wax” 1). In other words, it serves is purpose as coatings of tablets, chewing gums, sauces, gravies, and in processed juices and fruits (JP Dyechem 1).  Carnauba wax also has some use is the cosmetic industry. This substance has shown toxicity in some experiments done with rats. However, its toxicity in humans is still being studied currently.

Orange Seeds
            Orange seeds are said to contain oil which may be utilized in certain products. These seeds come from a citrus fruit that is usually spherical or oblong in size. Oils contained in the seeds of the orange are known to contain fatty acids which may be useful in industries like pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, detergents, and others (Okoye, Ibeto and Ihedioha 422-423). These seeds contain antioxidants which are substances that may protect humans from free radicals which may damage the cells. Usually these seeds are used in Chinese medicines for hernias and mastitis (Greenwood 1). Chemicals found in these seeds may be slightly toxic to humans like D-limonine. 

Limonoids are substances found in the seeds, peel and fruit of tangerines and oranges. These are known citrus compounds. Benefits of this chemical include its anti-tumor and anti-cancer properties. Some studies show that limonoids inhibit tumor formation in animals and are more effective against human breast cancer cells compared to tamoxifen. Moreover, further researches on this substance found that it my also have antimalarial properties (Greenwood 1).  However limonoids may cause the lowering f serum cholesterol as well as a bitter taste in teas or juice.

            Hesperidin is also a chemical that comes from plants. This is also called bioflavanoid and it is found in citrus fruits. This chemical is usually used for blood vessel conditions like hemorrhoids and varicose veins. Another use for hesperidin is for the treatment of lymphedema, a complication usually occurring in breast cancer patients. This chemical is not advisable for consumption for pregnant and lactating women (WebMD 1). 

Works Cited
“Beeswax.” MAAREC Publication 3.9. Mid-Atlantic Apicultural Research and Extension Consortium. January 2005. Web. 23 December 2012 <>.
“Carnauba Wax.” Chemical and Technical Assessment 51st JECFA. n.d. Web. 23 December 2012 < >.
Greenwood, Beth. “What are the Health Benefits of Tangerine Seeds?” Livestrong. 24 October 2011. Web. 23 December 2012 < >.
“Hesperidin.” WebMD. n.d. Web. 23 December 2012 < >
JP Dyechem. “Waxes.” JP Dyechem Pvt. Ltd. n.d. Web. 23 December 2012 <>.
Kuznesof, Paul M. “Beeswax.” Chemical and Technical Assessment 65th JECFA. n.d. Web. 23 December 2012 <>.
Munro, I.C., M. DiNovi, A. Knaap, and P.M. Kuznesof. “Beeswax.” Safety Evaluations of Specific Food Additives (Other than Flavouring Agents). n.d. Web. 23 December 2012 <>.
Okoye, C.O.B., C.N. Ibeto and J.N. Ihedioha. Preliminary Studies on the Characterization of Orange Seed and Pawpaw Seed Oils. American Journal of Food Technology 6 (2011): 422-426.

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