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Viral video alleging apples are painted from green to red using chemical, manipulated

Claim: A viral video on Facebook claims apples are usually painted from green to red with a chemical.

Viral video alleging apples are painted from green to red using chemical, manipulated

Verdict: False. The apples are not real. They are candy apples with chocolate contents. 

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Recently, a video circulated across social media platforms claiming that apples being imported into the country were painted from green to red with chemicals. The video came amid concerns among Nigerians over the safety of the food they consume. 

The video, which has been trending on Facebook, contained two captions, namely, “What do you call this? Lord protect your own” and “Sad”. There was a tiny video frame imposed on the video. The video frame captured the face of a man who was explaining what was happening in the video. The man, who spoke in Pidgin English, said the apples were being painted from green to red with bad chemicals which could adversely affect people’s health when consumed. He urged the public to believe in God if they erstwhile had doubts.

He said, “In this life, only God knows what is going on. A lot of things are happening. See the food we’re consuming. Watch this video and see what they’re using to paint this apple. Once they finish painting it with bad chemicals, they start selling it to people. You’ll finish eating it and not understand your body again in the name of looking for fruits. 

“It is only God that can help us in this world because the things that are happening now, only God can stop them, only God can help his children. If you don’t believe God, start believing now because the way the world is going, you won’t understand.”

A look at the comment section showed that some people believed the video while others were in doubt. A user Adj Hamina Haja commented, “That’s why guys, I don’t like to eat red apples because of this.” Some users advised that when people buy apples, they should peel off the skin and eat what’s left to avoid being victims of the ‘chemicals’ used on it. 

Apple is one of the most common fruits medical practitioners recommend for people to sustain a healthy lifestyle. A popular saying goes thus, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”.

According to a report by Medical News Today, the apple fruit comes in varieties such as:

McIntosh: a juicy, red apple with tender, white flesh and a tangy flavor

Red delicious: a crisp, juicy red apple

Fuji: a yellow and red apple with firm, sweet flesh

Granny Smith: a green apple with crisp, greenish flesh and a sharp flavor

Golden Delicious: a yellow apple with a mild, sweet flavour. 

Meanwhile, WebMD established the benefits of green apples to include: digestive health, heart health, and reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes, among others. Generally, apples have been found to reduce the risk of cancer in humans. 

Screenshots of the comment section are attached below.

Viral video alleging apples are painted from green to red using chemical, manipulated
Screenshots of the comment section

Verification 

A reverse image search traced the video to an Instagram reel from January 2022. 

A close look at the video showed the factory workers putting their fingers inside the ‘apple’ to achieve a firm grip to allow them to paint the items properly. That was the first sign that the apples are not real as it is impossible to tuck fingers into real, uncut apples.

Also, DUBAWA made use of the Invid video verification software to identify the source of the video and get more pointers as to whether it is fake or real. A reverse image search on the keyframes showed that a TikTok user, Me Lavie’s @cacao_ing posted the video on December 3, 2021, with the caption ‘Merry Christmas’. The video on TikTok featured the popular Christmas song, and the video was a longer version of the one shared on Facebook.

Towards the end of the video, there were images of the same items (apples) arranged in Christmas gift boxes to show that they actually present for the season. However, there are no further details on the actual use of the items. 

A visit to the comment section showed that the video raised a lot of questions and speculations from viewers, though some of the comments were written in the Vietnamese language, which DUBAWA translated using the Google Translate tool.

The TikTok account replied to one of the comments with another video, as seen here. The second video showed the process of making the apple-shaped item with an opening at the bottom, explaining the space the factory workers tucked in their fingers. The video creator further showed how the colouring was made, after which the item is painted red to look like a red apple. 

The space at the bottom is the entry point for adding candies, after which it is sealed to hold the candies. When it is presented as a gift to another person, they are expected to rip it open and get the contents — the edibles. 

Viral video alleging apples are painted from green to red using chemical, manipulated
Screenshot of the apple candy and its contents.

DUBAWA further used Google Fact-Check Explorer and found a similar report done in 2022 regarding the same video on Factly, a fact-checking organisation. The fact-check traced the video to the same video creator, Me Lavie’s @cacao_ing, and also identified the items as gifts commonly presented by the Chinese to their friends and loved ones on Christmas or Valentine’s day. The items were displayed on online e-commerce sites such as here and here.

However, this is not to rule out the fact that there are candy apples made with real apples. Here, a real apple of any colour is dipped into a syrup or coating, which could be chocolate, caramel or any other sweetener, as seen here.

Conclusion

The viral video alleging artificial apples were produced in a foreign country and imported into Nigeria is false. The video showed the production of the Chocolate apple which is popularly presented as a gift by the Chinese during Christmas and Valentine’s Celebrations.

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One Comment

  1. If you claim that it is false why did you not remove it from Social Media but allowed it to be posted to Facebook users instead you are now penalizing me for reporting it. It is wrong.

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