New laser cut labels mark fruits without damage

Spanish company Laser Food has introduced a new method of identifying various fruits that need to be peeled prior to consumption.

While some fruit labels are edible, others dissolve in water; most are however stuck on the fruit and peeled off by hand.

Laser Food’s new laser cut labels identify fruits such as bananas, oranges, kiwis and lemons by marking them using laser technology.

The EU has recently passed legislation allowing labels to be applied directly onto produce using lasers. Similar to laser cutters, the Laser Food machines mark the fruit without damaging it. Printing clearly enough for barcode scanners, they allow for branding with individual logos. Currently, these machines can mark up to 54,000 pieces of fruit in an hour.

EU’s initial objections to using laser technology were due to chemicals such as iron oxides, hydroxides, hydroxypropyl, methyl cellulose and polysorbates that make the laser look clearer. However, as the laser only penetrates the surface of the skin of produce, which must be peeled, the chemicals do not pose a threat to human health.

Even concerns that the technology could make the fruit susceptible to pathogens, and increase the pace of decay have been allayed in the US with University of Florida researchers proving that these claims are unsubstantiated.

Also called the fruit tattoo, the laser label is being heralded as the ultimate sustainable packaging solution that does not use any material or adhesive, consumes very little energy, causes minimal, if not zero waste and is user-friendly for the consumer.

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