Technology editor Ben Potter brings you the latest in technology news, and how you can apply it to farming.
The Future of Food Labeling Is -- Lasers?
Jun 20, 2013
Ever get tired of peeling those little stickers off your apples, oranges and bananas? They may closer to extinction than you think, thanks to a new laser labeling technology from Spanish company Laserfood.
The Telegraph recently reported that the EU has just approved the technique, which uses iron oxides and hydroxides to cut a picture on the skin of fresh produce. Savvy marketers could use the technology to engrave logos or even QR codes consumers could scan with smartphones to learn about the food’s nutritional content or even information on where and how it was grown.
"Consumers will have absolute certainty the product they are buying is fully guaranteed," Laserfood managing director Jaime Sanfelix told The Grocer magazine in 2009.
There’s a potentially positive environmental impact, too, as laser-applied labels could reduce the amount of paper, plastic and glue needed to affix today’s produce stickers.
The process works well on produce with thicker skins, such as oranges and bananas, but even thinner-skinned fruits like apples and tomatoes can be zapped. No word yet when or if the technology will make its way to the United States.