Is there formaldehyde in apples?

In this brief article, we will provide you with the answer to the question: “Is there formaldehyde in apples?”, explain the harms that formaldehyde can cause, and talk about other products that can contain formaldehyde. We will also discuss how to clean vegetables and fruit before eating them.

Is there formaldehyde in apples?

Yes,  there is formaldehyde in apples.Apple contains about 6.3 to 22.3 milligrams of formaldehyde per kilogram (mg/kg).

 Food contains trace quantities of formaldehyde. Fruits and vegetables include 3 to 60 milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg), milk and dairy products comprise around 1 mg/kg, while meat and fish contain 6 to 20 mg/kg. 

The concentration in drinking water is less than 0.1mg/kg. Contamination can occur, however, due to the application of fumigants in the field, burning, and the release of formaldehyde resins from the dishes.

What harm the ingestion of formaldehyde can cause?

A small amount of formaldehyde ingestion (like the content in apples and other fruits) is unlikely to result in an acute consequence. Acute toxicity caused by ingesting a significant dose can result in severe stomach pain, vomiting, unconsciousness, kidney damage, and death.

In larger amounts, It has the potential to cause genetic mutation. This promotes rapid cell growth, which can lead to cancer. It is more severe in children because they have a faster rate of protein acceleration.

It is carcinogenic and has an impact on cell structure and formation. It also produces discomfort or skin irritation when in direct touch. Those that work with the material are more likely to experience this.

It is a solution used as a preservative, disinfectant, antiseptic. It has a very high toxicity for anyone who inhales, ingests or comes into contact with it.

Which are the other products that can contain formaldehyde?

Beauty products

The use of formaldehyde in progressive brushes as a hair straightener is banned by many countries. As a result, the sale of products with more than 37 percent concentration is forbidden in pharmacies, supermarkets, and convenience stores. 

Today, it is only permitted to be used as a preservative at a concentration of 0.2 percent and as a nail hardener at a concentration of 5%. It is also found in shampoos and other hair creams, deodorants, bath products, and skin creams in low concentrations.


Inhaled cigarette smoke has been shown to contain concentrations ranging from 60 to 130 mg/m³. For example, a person who smokes 20 cigarettes a day is exposed to the equivalent of 1 mg throughout that time period.

Hospitals and research laboratories

Formaldehyde is commonly used in labs to preserve tissue samples and as a preservative for human tissue, including cadavers. Professionals in these fields should avoid prolonged exposure.

Paper and wood industry

Formaldehyde is used as a resin in the wood industry. It is also found in varnishes for furniture and flooring. Paper milling produces goods that are coated with formaldehyde-based resins.

How to clean fruits and vegetables before eating them?

Washing fruits and vegetables thoroughly with sodium bicarbonate, bleach, or bleach removes dirt and pesticides present in the peel of the food, as well as viruses and bacteria responsible for diseases such as hepatitis, cholera, salmonellosis, and even coronavirus, for example.

Before washing fruits and vegetables, thoroughly wash your hands and remove any damaged areas. Then, proceed with the steps outlined below:

  • Wash the veggies with a brush, warm water, and soap to remove any apparent dirt.
  • Allow the unpeeled fruits and vegetables to soak for about 15 minutes in a basin with 1 liter of water and 1 tablespoon of sodium bicarbonate or bleach.
  • Wash fruits and vegetables in running water to remove extra bicarbonate, bleach, or disinfectant.
  • Furthermore, it is critical not to mix clean meals with unclean or raw foods, since this might re-contaminate.

Cooked meals can only be cleaned with running water to eliminate dirt since the heat kills the germs contained in these items.

It is critical to remember that anytime commercial chemical products are used to wash vegetables, the package instructions must be followed in order to avoid the buildup of the material in the body. In this instance, it is best to follow the instructions on the box.

The use of agents such as bleach, chlorine, or stain remover is absolutely unnecessary because they can be damaging to health if not completely eliminated from food before eating.

Use of hydrogen peroxide or organic acids such as citric, lactic, or ascorbic acid are other healthy and effective choices for removing microbes and pesticides from vegetables. 

However, in both circumstances, you must use caution. In the case of hydrogen peroxide, it is critical to utilize percentages of less than 5%, since higher concentrations might cause skin or eye irritation. It is always preferable to utilize a blend of two or more organic acids when working with organic acids.

To use these alternatives, dilute 1 tablespoon of the product in 1 liter of water and soak the veggies for 15 minutes. After this time, wash the veggies under running water to eliminate any extra product and store the food in the refrigerator.

Consuming raw foods that have not been thoroughly cleaned can be hazardous to one’s health owing to the number of harmful germs and pesticides contained in the skin of the vegetables, which can cause stomach ache, diarrhea, fever, and malaise. Click here to read about the main diseases that are caused by contaminated food. 


In this brief article, we will provide you with the answer to the question: “Is there formaldehyde in apples?”, explain the harms that formaldehyde can cause, and talk about other products that can contain formaldehyde. We will also discuss how to clean vegetables and fruit before eating them.


“Formaldehyde in Food.” Accessed February 23, 2022.

GZH. “Saiba os riscos da ingestão de formol,” May 14, 2013.

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