Beeswax food wraps have gained popularity as a sustainable, natural alternative to single use options such as plastic bags, plastic wrap, and wax paper. Despite limited evidence, sellers advertise beeswax wraps as having antimicrobial benefits that help food stay fresh longer. The purpose of this investigation was to determine the ability of beeswax impregnated cotton cloth to inhibit food spoilage relative to traditional methods. We designed a prospective trial in which strawberry, bread, and cheese specimens were wrapped in one of the 3 materials: 1) beeswax impregnated cotton cloth, 2) wax paper, or 3) plastic bags alone and followed for 15 days at 65oF for progression of mold growth and other signs of deterioration. For most specimen/timepoint combinations (87%), we found no differences between storage methods. For the 13% of specimen/timepoint combinations where we did note a significant difference, beeswax wraps fared the worst. While beeswax wraps may be preferred as a natural food storage material, their ability to preserve food is no better than conventional options.
Beck, Dawn E.; Lane, Kevin M.; Shiel, Christine A.; and Welke, Karl F., "Food spoilage in beeswax impregnated cotton cloth wraps compared to standard storage methods" (2021). Beekeeping Certificate Program. 1.