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.
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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.