Bel Brands USA Responds To Red Wax Wrapper Question


A few weeks ago I posted about Mini Baby Bel’s red wax wrapper and how the company could not confirm that the red dye doesn’t leach into the cheese it contains. Here is the response I received.

Dear Miss Kaplan,

Thank you for contacting us.

Our wax is composed of fully refined paraffin wax, micro-crystalline wax, and a low percentage of Polyethylene. It is colored with varying pigments, depending on which flavor of our cheese it will coat: if the wax is red, it contains red dye #40; if yellow, it contains yellow dye #5.

The wax is G.R.A.S. , which means β€œGenerally Recognized As Safe” by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and it meets all of their requirements in regards to wax that covers or contacts food. (Cardboard containers of ice cream are similarly waxed on the inside.) While we do not recommend eating it, if a person or pet accidentally consumes the wax, there will be no harmful effects.

The wrapper we put outside the wax on each piece of Mini Babybel cheese is cellophane.

We hope we can continue to count you among our valued customers.


Customer Service
Bel Brands USA

BTW, Red dye #40 and yellow dye #5 have been linked to cancer, ADHD and allergies. How about it, BabyBel? Let’s have naturally colored wax wrappers.


Written by Jennifer Kaplan

Jennifer Kaplan writes about sustainable food and wine, the intersection of food and marketing and food politics for Insteading (and before the two sites merged) and is the author of Greening Your Small Business. She is an Instructor at the Culinary Institute of America-Greystone and was named one of The 16 Women You Must Follow on Twitter for Green Business. She has four kids, a dog, a hamster, an MFA and an MBA – follow her on Twitter.


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  1. The big question is: Have they never thought about how wasteful it is to have them wrapped in this wax thatΒ΄s only there to be thrown away? I know all kinds of consumer products comes wrapped in all kind of excessive things, but babybel and kinder eggs are some of the worst on that account if you look at the garbage:product factor.

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