Promoting Environmental Conservation: Laser-Engraved Fruit Labels

British retailer Marks and Spencer has introduced a laser marking technique for avocados, aiming to minimize paper waste. Transitioning from traditional paper adhesive labels to laser printing could potentially conserve 10 tons of label and backing paper, along with 5 tons of adhesive annually.

Once harvested at their place of origin, avocados undergo grading based on their origin before being transported to the UK. Upon arrival, the ripe avocados are arranged on trays and conveyed to a laser marking machine for labeling.

laser marking on Avocado

The laser marking process will imprint the retailer’s logo, best-before date, country of origin, and cash register code onto the outer layer of the avocado. M&S asserts that the intense light exposure only affects the outermost skin, causing it to naturally shed and fade without damaging the fruit, ensuring precise operations.

A fruit technology expert commented, “Given the success of laser labeling on avocados, there’s potential to expand this technology to various other fruits and vegetables. This presents an exciting opportunity to significantly reduce packaging waste.”

label on appleLaser marking on lemon

In recent years, laser marking technology has become increasingly prevalent in the fruit industry. Traditionally, labels were affixed to the surface of fruits, especially for imported or locally branded ones, to showcase brand identity, origin, and other details. However, these labels are prone to tearing or counterfeiting. Laser marking technology offers a solution by directly marking on the peel, preserving the fruit’s integrity while providing an anti-counterfeiting measure that is both distinctive and innovative.

By replacing conventional paper labels with laser marking, retailers and suppliers can reduce production and environmental costs. This technology eliminates the need for paper, ink, and glue used in traditional labeling methods, leading to broader applications across various fruits and reducing environmental impact.

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