European Wax Federation


Every type of wax is defined by certain parameters such as hardness, melting point, viscosity, colour, and many others. These determine the large number of potential uses of the product.

Some waxes are approved as food additives (E 901, E 905, E 912, E 914). Those waxes must comply with stringent specifications that are described by international laws and regulations. Most important are EC, FDA, and MITI approvals, but there are other national guidelines which have to be taken into account in some countries. A great number of waxes, mineral hydrocarbons or white oils are also approved for use in pharmaceutical, cosmetic and food contact applications.

Wax applications can be classified into two categories:

  • waxes as processing aids
  • waxes as base materials or additives for imparting, improving or modifying product properties

Out of several thousand applications which have been reported up to present, only a small selection can be presented here. For details please refer to EWF member companies.


Field of application Function during processing Function/effect on finished good
adhesives, hot melts viscosity regulation, open time rapid set off
agriculture (fertilizers, plant protection) anti-agglomeration aids in controlled release fertilizers; grafting retard release of chemical protection against microbes in grafting
automotive industry surface protection on metal and painted surfaces; corrosion protection in cavities
candles moldability and extrudability fuel for controlled burn
carbon paper dispersing agent and binder clarity of reproduction
cardboard, paper improvement of MVT properties of substrate and adhesion coating, impregnation, surface gloss, laminating
ceramics and metal (powder) binder for sintering improved surface and reduction of rejects
cheese encapsulation; moisture controll coating, surface protection
chewing gum dispersion of rubber and gumbase aditives chewability of gumbase
citrus (and other) fruit surface and emulsifier treatment protective coating
cosmetics binder, consistency regulation component of ointments, pastes, creams, lipsticks
electrical and electronic applications release agent; masking agent in edging process insulator
explosives process aid phlegmatizer
metal working lubrication corrosion inhibitor
paints and coatings viscosity regulation matting, surface protection; slip agent
pharmaceuticals dispersion or surface treatment aid surface protection; glazing agent; release retardant in drugs
pigments processing aid carrier (base wax) in pigment masterbatches
plastics and rubber lubricant (PVC), release agent (PA) improves surface appearance
polishes major ingredient surface protection of leather, floors, cars
poultry defeathering smooth skin
printing inks dispersion promotor improvement of rub resistance, slip, gloss
recycling homogenizer compatibilizer
ski lubricant; polish
textile industry sizing agent water repellant, lustering
toner (photocopiers) dispersing aid print clarify

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