Spanish firm Laser Foods uses laser technology to brand fresh fruit and vegetables with a logo or ethical label, removing the need for plastic, oil-based labels.
International relations manager at Laser Foods, Stephane Merit, told FoodNavigator: “What we do is a very superficial depigmentation of the fruit skin that will not cause any decay nor micro bacteriological contamination. We make logos according to the nature of each product to mark.
“[They] can vary from simple vector drawings that can be marked in a fraction of a second, to more complex logos that transmit more information and may require some more time to mark.”
Merit said the branding can be varied to increase the contrast depending on the product’s colour, and does not affect the shelf life.
The branding is already being used by Dutch importer, packer and distributor of organically grown fresh produce Eosta under its Nature & More brand.
It says the energy needed for a marking is less than 1% of the energy needed for a sticker, and that for one customer’s product line, it has saved over 750,000 packaging units, equivalent to “tons of plastic”.
Michael Wilde, sustainability and communications manager at Eosta said: "The interest in natural branding is growing fast. We are now supplying more than 10 supermarkets spread around five European countries and expect this figure to grow rapidly. Consumers - especially the ones that like organic- hate single use plastic packaging."