Lasers etch high-tech labels into fruit


Laser labels are the new face of fruit in some European countries, and the high-tech labeling could be coming to more U.S. markets too.

The days of peeling pesky stickers off apples and tomatoes may soon be over. 

The etched logos would be an alternative to the stickers that now mark most fruits and vegetables sold in the United States, liking. The stickers most commonly bear a standard code, called a produce look-up or PLU code, used to ring up fruits and vegetables at the register. They also can include brand names, logos and country of origin information.

The technology uses a carbon dioxide laser to etch a brand name and tracking information onto fruit. It looks like a hot-iron brand, but it’s really a light etching into the colored part of a fruit or vegetable peel, and this why Laser labels are the new face.

The labels can be customized to include not only the brand name, but also specific information on the source of the produce. «You could have on each of these melons its own traceability number,» Stephane Merit of the Spanish company Laser Food told CBS News‘ Jonathan Vigliotti. «This is not a melon anymore. It’s a branded melon, a melon that has its own mark.»


JUNE 29, 2015 / 2:26 PM / CBS NEWS


Dubbed “Natural Branding by Laser Food”, the technique uses a strong light to remove pigment from the skin of produce. The mark is invisible once skin is removed and doesn’t affect shelf life or eating quality.