Laser Food apples

Innovative new technology from food technology group Laser Food that enables brand logos and labels to be inscribed directly onto the surface of fruits and vegetables is rapidly generating interest from retailers and producers across Europe.

The Laser Mark System is a global first that gives both growers and retailers the ability to add more value to fruits and vegetables at the point of sale by allowing them to safely add brand names and logos to fresh produce without damaging the product.

Without affecting in any way the quality of shelf-life of the products, laser technology allows companies to score names or logos onto the surface of individual pieces of fruit or vegetables, providing a point of difference from competitors while also increasing traceability.

Initially available only in Spain, Laser Food’s technology is fast gaining acceptance across Europe and over the last 12 months the system has come into use in France, Italy and Poland.

Laser Food managing director Jaime Sanfelix said that he was confident further Europe-wide expansion is imminent, thanks to the company's successful appearance at the International Fruit Farming and Horticultural Technology Fair in Warsaw, Poland.

'The level of success that we achieved at the fair last month is going some way towards helping us consolidate our recent international expansion, especially in Italy, France and Poland itself,' he explained.

'The technology enables producers and retailers to eliminate cumbersome paper sticky labels, as products can bear the Price Look-Up (PLU) codes directly on each piece of fruit, something which is much more cost effective than paper labels,' Sanfelix continued. 'Stickers are, in addition to being detrimental to the environment, little more than a decoration, which consume a huge amount of resources and are thrown away by consumers, contributing nothing to the product.'

Another advantage of the Laser Mark System, continued Sanfelix, is that adding a brand logo or PLU code to the surface of the fruit or vegetable means problems with unscrupulous shoppers switching labels between premium and lower priced products can be avoided, while the process also has great potenital to improve traceability in the supply chain.

However, perhaps most importantly, Sanfelix believes the Laser Mark System offers a clear differentiation itself from other laser labelling systems available at the present time with the Laser Mark System not burning the surface of the fruit, but instead removing a microscopically small area of fruit skin that discolours rather than burns the product without touching or harming cells in the skin surface.