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Q&A: Is the cloudy coating on blueberries safe to eat?

Consumer Reports News: May 17, 2010 06:08 AM

I’ve noticed a cloudy coating on grapes and blueberries that doesn’t wash off. Is it pesticides, and, if so, is there any way to get rid of it? —C.E., Burlington,Vt. 

Don’t worry: The coating is a safe, natural part of the fruit. Known as the "bloom," the waxy, silvery-white substance on the surface of grapes, blueberries, and certain plums acts as a barrier against insects and bacteria and helps to seal in the fruit’s moisture.The bloom is also a sign of freshness, since it fades with time and handling. 

But it’s still wise to rinse or scrub produce thoroughly under running water to minimize exposure to pesticides and bacteria. You can further cut your pesticide exposure by buying organic produce.

Read more on the role blueberries and other colorful fruits play in a heart-healthy diet

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