Laser-Etched Fruit Labels Will Make Stickers Obsolete

Bye-bye icky food labels. Now food information will be written directly on the skin

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LaserFood

Earlier this month, the European Union approved new regulations regarding the sale of fruit, now allowing food products to be lasered with the required codes instead of affixing a sticker. The Telegraph reports that with the recent authorization, laser-etched fruit could make its way to European fruit stands as early as June 23.

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To etch the fruit, iron oxides and hydroxides are used to enhance the contrast of the lasered parts of the fruit to make them more noticeable to the human eye. Previously, the chemicals were not allowed under European law.

According to the Grocer, supporters of the measure praise its efficiency:

Lasering would also bring considerable cost advantages and environmental savings for retailers and suppliers as it would negate the need for the paper, ink and glue typically used to add information and branding to produce.

“It limits the risk of losing, mixing up or inverting food items, and therefore facilitates transportation and storage,” Jaime Sanfelix, a spokesman for LaserFood, a Spanish company that has been lobbying for the measure, told the publication.

(MORE: In Search of…The ‘Superfruit’)

Though retailers are looking to embrace the possible benefits of the technology, it is still not clear how consumers will react to the new products.

4 comments
RupinderKGill
RupinderKGill

Is this hygenic? laser etching or sticking labels on fruit isn't hygenic is it? Why not just stick to the old method. Put as many fruit as you want in a plastic bag, weigh the amount and a sticker comes out of the machine with the price on and you stick the sticker on the plastic bag not the fruit.

horsley1953
horsley1953

It is fascinating that putting individual stickers on each piece of fruit is essential to the food industry for some reason, yet when there is a e-coli outbreak, they can't figure out where the culprit originated.

jadodson456
jadodson456

Now, in addition to the pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and the wax to seal in all those delicious chemicals, we are now adding iron oxide and hydroxide to our food.

cleverlyc
cleverlyc

@jadodson456 And removing the adhesives used to attach the stickers to the fruit. It ends people moving stickers from one fruit to another, or losing them entirely.

Bah, you probably think that organic is actually better.