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Ask the Expert Archive

Can you clear up truth about the use of chlorine on produce (”baby” carrots in particular) and the white color that occurs on the carrots, or direct me to some reputable resources to check? Thank you.

Baby carrots are washed in a dilute chlorine bleach solution to clean them, but chlorine evaporates fairly quickly, leaving just water, and so poses no health risk. (Remember that chlorine is also used to purify public drinking water.) The white film that appears on baby carrots is simply the carrots drying out. You can conduct your own scientific experiment to illustrate this by cutting up a regular carrot and leaving the pieces on your kitchen counter for several hours. They too will turn white as they dry out.

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The Expert: Wendy Reinhardt Kapsak, MS, RDN, is the President and CEO of the Produce for Better Health (PBH) Foundation. At PBH, she guides the Foundation’s efforts to advance the overall effort of increasing fruit and vegetable consumption.
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