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E901 - White and yellow beeswax

Functions: Carrier, Emulsifier, Stabiliser, Thickener

Beeswax -cera alba- is a natural wax produced by honey bees of the genus Apis. The wax is formed into "scales" by eight wax-producing glands in the abdominal segments of worker bees, which discard it in or at the hive. The hive workers collect and use it to form cells for honey storage and larval and pupal protection within the beehive. Chemically, beeswax consists mainly of esters of fatty acids and various long-chain alcohols. Beeswax has long-standing applications in human food and flavoring. For example, it is used as a glazing agent or as a light/heat source. It is edible, in the sense of having similar negligible toxicity to plant waxes, and is approved for food use in most countries and the European Union under the E number E901. However, the wax monoesters in beeswax are poorly hydrolysed in the guts of humans and other mammals, so they have insignificant nutritional value. Some birds, such as honeyguides, can digest beeswax. Beeswax is the main diet of wax moth larvae. - Wikipedia

EFSA evaluation: Beeswax -E 901- as a glazing agent and as carrier for flavours (2007-12-20)

Names: Cire d'abeille, Cire d'abeille alimentaire, Cire d'abeille blanchâtre, Cire d'abeille jaunâtre, Cire blanche, cire jaune, Cire d'abeilles, Cire d'abeille blanche et jaune