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Low-Energy Laser Etching May Replace Fruit Labels

samzenpus posted about 5 years ago | from the tattooed-fruit dept.

Idle 475

MikeChino writes "How many times have you bit into a piece of fruit only to find that you're also chomping on a sticker label? The small sticky labels have long been the bane of waste-conscious fruit and vegetable eaters, but that might all change thanks to new technology that uses a low-energy carbon dioxide laser beam to etch information directly onto produce. No more peeling those annoying labels! So far the technology is being used on a number of fruits and vegetables in New Zealand, Australia, and Pacific Rim countries, and it's currently going through the final stages of review by the FDA. Once the technology is approved in the US, researchers from the University of Florida and the USDA Agricultural Research Service hope that it will be used in Florida's massive grapefruit industry."

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Wrong problem (1)

s1lverl0rd (1382241) | about 5 years ago | (#29993564)

I think they solved the wrong problem.

Re:Wrong problem (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29993592)

Why, you son of a bitch.

Re:Wrong problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29993782)

I think they solved the wrong problem.

I agree. While it's good that this may rid us of plastic labels in advanced countries, I am originally from the third world. Our fruits do not need labels. Advertising on the skin of edibles is overrated, considering that people don't peel certain types: apples, mangoes, peaches...

Lecture Fruit! (5, Funny)

happy_place (632005) | about 5 years ago | (#29993580)

I can't wait til they're required by law to give us all the nutritional information of every piece of fruit, down to the calorie count and the chemical breakdown. Perhaps government will put missing persons reports on them, or government mandated reminders of what it means to be a good citizen! So many useful applications!

Re:Lecture Fruit! (4, Funny)

Scutter (18425) | about 5 years ago | (#29993644)

No, they'll just etch "This unit not labeled for individual sale" on each one and make you buy them by the bag instead.

Re:Lecture Fruit! (4, Funny)

GaryOlson (737642) | about 5 years ago | (#29994176)

Thus creating a gray market for fruit.

Hey buddy, wanna buy a hit of label free grapefruit? Highest quality buzz of Vitamin C anywhere!

Re:Lecture Fruit! (3, Insightful)

think_nix (1467471) | about 5 years ago | (#29993682)

and next thing will be company xyz etching commercials , or marketing crap into it.

Re:Lecture Fruit! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29993816)

or marketing crap into it.

Speaking of which, as a struggling farmer, I simply cannot afford a laser. Why not just laser the seeds instead? That way, I sample the produce aisle, eat said cash crop, and personally fertilize my field the next day. When my produce goes to market next year, it's already been labeled by nature.

Re:Lecture Fruit! (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | about 5 years ago | (#29993914)

I sample the produce aisle, eat said cash crop, and personally fertilize my field the next day.

Um, not to destroy your business model here, but isn't fertilizing with human manure illegal?

Re:Lecture Fruit! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29993968)

Probably. But I'm a cyborg from the future with a damaged flux capacitor.

Re:Lecture Fruit! (1)

cptdondo (59460) | about 5 years ago | (#29993694)

I can't find it now, but several years ago someone floated this idea. Etching ads on fruit with a laser.

While technically possible, it was roundly rejected by the "consumer test group".

I guess an apple just doesn't taste the same when an add for Preparation H is tattooed on it.....

Corporate advertising. (4, Funny)

Dan541 (1032000) | about 5 years ago | (#29993704)

"This Apple brought to you by Apple"

Re:Corporate advertising. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29993764)

you may not take a bite of this apple since it is a registered trademark of Apple.

Re:Corporate advertising. (2, Insightful)

clone53421 (1310749) | about 5 years ago | (#29993934)

No, no, no... you have to take the bite. It's not the Apple logo unless you take the bite.

Re:Corporate advertising. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29993984)

Eating this apple constitutes copyright infringement as another copy of the apple must be loaded into your stomach/intestines for digestion?

Re:Lecture Fruit! (0, Redundant)

captainpanic (1173915) | about 5 years ago | (#29993848)

I can't wait til they're required by law to give us all the nutritional information of every piece of fruit, down to the calorie count and the chemical breakdown. Perhaps government will put missing persons reports on them, or government mandated reminders of what it means to be a good citizen! So many useful applications!

I can wait.

While factory food is standard, and large processes and labs are well equipped to measure all you want to know - each batch of fruit has a different nutritional value. A little more sun can do a lot. There is a wide variation in the amount of vitamins in apples.

The costs associated with all the measurements of what you propose are immense.

Also, fruits have very few (none) added sugars or added other components... and there is no trickery.

Just remember: fruit is healthy. It never hurts to eat it. Why have a label if this is true anyway?

We need more moderation choices (1)

Shivetya (243324) | about 5 years ago | (#29993896)

because I would select "Scary but True +1" for your post.

We could have the reverse too "Turn in your tinfoil hat -1"

Re:Lecture Fruit! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29994112)

You can get most of that information here. [nutritiondata.com]

What does this do, chemically? (4, Insightful)

bcmm (768152) | about 5 years ago | (#29993582)

What chemical change is caused in the skin to form the pattern? How deep does it go? The skin is a protective barrier, and if it's compromised by the process, this could have a negative effect on shelf-life.

Re:What does this do, chemically? (4, Insightful)

John Hasler (414242) | about 5 years ago | (#29993664)

The process must be approved by the FDA. You can be sure they will ask all those questions and some you haven't thought of.

Re:What does this do, chemically? (1, Troll)

JackSpratts (660957) | about 5 years ago | (#29993696)

we are talking about the fda here aren't we?

Re:What does this do, chemically? (1)

ByOhTek (1181381) | about 5 years ago | (#29994010)

Yes, and what he said is still true.

Money, goods and services, weeks in vacation houses in tahiti... will exchange hands to rectify any answers that are not sufficient.

Re:What does this do, chemically? (1, Insightful)

Xest (935314) | about 5 years ago | (#29993726)

Exactly, because government departments are completely infallible.

Re:What does this do, chemically? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29993728)

You'll have to excuse me for being a tad bit sceptical about the FDA. They don't exactly have the best track recard you know.

Re:What does this do, chemically? (5, Funny)

TimHunter (174406) | about 5 years ago | (#29993806)

Hmmm...You're right, we can't trust the FDA. We should rely on the geniuses of the Slashdot community instead. The ones who can read the summary and immediately come up with 10 or a dozen weaknesses that the professionals who've been thinking about the problems for years have somehow overlooked.

We should set up a vote. You know, take the top 10 highest-modded questions or something.

Re:What does this do, chemically? (3, Interesting)

jimicus (737525) | about 5 years ago | (#29993732)

The process must be approved by the FDA. You can be sure they will ask all those questions and some you haven't thought of.

I'm always very leery of that sort of assurance because I've heard very similar things from my own MP (I'm in the UK) and IME it invariably means "I have so much blind faith in the system that I'm not even going to take your query seriously enough to forward it on to the relevant people".

And it later transpires that the relevant people had not thought about it...

Re:What does this do, chemically? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29993748)

It just burns it with a laser, 100% safe to eat. The problem that I heard with this tech is it almost always made it rot faster, but I think they were doing it to apples when I read it which has thin skin, not as much of a problem with citrus fruit.

Re:What does this do, chemically? (1)

bcmm (768152) | about 5 years ago | (#29993888)

Did anybody read my post? I didn't question whether it would be safe, and I did ask whether it would rot faster...

Re:What does this do, chemically? (1)

NoPantsJim (1149003) | about 5 years ago | (#29993830)

Something makes me think he meant for this post to be modded funny...

Re:What does this do, chemically? (4, Insightful)

clone53421 (1310749) | about 5 years ago | (#29993898)

I'm waiting for the mandatory notice that the laser-charred fruit contains substances known in the state of California to cause cancer.

Re:What does this do, chemically? (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | about 5 years ago | (#29993940)

I think it's just like burning. After all it's only light. Like heat. So it's like a very browned spot on something you put in the oven.

Don't get confused by the obviously wrong image that came with TFS. (Cyan? Really?? FAIL!)

Re:What does this do, chemically? (1)

bcmm (768152) | about 5 years ago | (#29994006)

I know it's just burning, but how deep? The skin will inevitably be thinner where it's been burned, and that could allow it to rot sooner.

Re:What does this do, chemically? (5, Informative)

Atraxen (790188) | about 5 years ago | (#29994004)

A CO2 laser has a wavelength of 10600 nm (i.e. pretty deep into the infrared). I'm not seeing any specific reactions or chemical absorbers in the literature on a quick check, nor would I expect to - a single photon of 10600 nm light contains far too little energy to break any bonds. Instead, when the photon is absorbed it makes the molecule vibrate a little, and the kinetic energy is transferred to the surrounding water (or other) molecules as heat energy. This is where the misconception stems from that IR = heat; heat results when the photon of IR light is absorbed, but a photon is a photon is a photon... Basically, the color change is going to be a burn pattern, so there's nothing to fear from it over and above any concern you'd have for cooked fruits (e.g. pie filling).

An answer in search for a problem? (5, Insightful)

anomnomnomymous (1321267) | about 5 years ago | (#29993590)

"How many times have you bit into a piece of fruit only to find that you're also chomping on a sticker label?"

Erm, never? Because I always wash my fruits (as in apples, pears) first before eating them?
This is an answer in search of a problem: To be honest, I'd rather have a blemish-free apple, than one with carvings.

Re:An answer in search for a problem? (3, Interesting)

FlyingBishop (1293238) | about 5 years ago | (#29993656)

I compost all of my fruit, and this will be great, as fruit like bananas and oranges will no longer generate any waste I can't compost.

Re:An answer in search for a problem? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29993824)

I compost all of my fruit, and this will be great, as fruit like bananas and oranges will no longer generate any waste I can't compost.

Uh huh.

1. It's a small sticker. Small. Understand the word small? It won't hurt if you have to drop the small sticker into the trash can. Small. Get it, small. It won't club seals, cause global flooding, or turn the planet into the next ice age/green house.

2. Those stickers are usually paper. Paper does in fact compost. It's a small little paper sticker. Did I mention small and paper?

Re:An answer in search for a problem? (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | about 5 years ago | (#29993942)

Re: 1, absolutely.
Re: 2, actually, in my experience they're usually plastic.

Re:An answer in search for a problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29994206)

Re: Re: 2, you're right most are. Was thinking about some fruit I bought (perhaps local) that didn't have plastic stickers. Still though, it won't harm, plunder, spindle, or mutilate the earth to throw a little (small ;-) ) plastic sticker away.

Re:An answer in search for a problem? (4, Funny)

maxume (22995) | about 5 years ago | (#29993910)

Seriously? You are worried about a couple of grams of stickers that come on a few hundred or thousand grams of fruit? You could probably eat bananas for a year and still fit the stickers inside your nose.

Re:An answer in search for a problem? (4, Insightful)

sakdoctor (1087155) | about 5 years ago | (#29994130)

Do you expect me to just take your word for that?

I'll report back here in one year.

Re:An answer in search for a problem? (1)

Ogive17 (691899) | about 5 years ago | (#29993760)

I think the laser etching would be ok for stuff like oranges, grapefruit and bananas (fruits where the skin is typically not eaten).. But stuff like apples and peaches I would not want it etched.

Re:An answer in search for a problem? (4, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | about 5 years ago | (#29993874)

Why?
TFA shows that it works on delicate fruit like tomatoes too. In terms of heal and sanitary concerns the laser is probably still better.

1. A sticker when placed will be a nice breading gown for bacteria. Then the sticker is often pealed off after the fruit is washed.

2. Who knows what chemicals are left behind on the sticker.

3. When pealing off the sticker people use their fingernail. Even when they wash their hands the fingernails tend to have the most bacteria on them.

4. Stickers get toss into the garbage. Or worse if you are eating on the run just littered.

5. Pealing off stickers on some fruit can tare off the skin of the fruit.

6. Stickers that fall off fruit could mean be misplaced, wrongly priced at checkout.

I for one welcome or laser etched fruit overlords.

Re:An answer in search for a problem? (1)

mad_minstrel (943049) | about 5 years ago | (#29994060)

Have you ever roasted an apple? The laser does the same thing. Besides, stickers need glue that I don't want on my food.

Re:An answer in search for a problem? (1)

egcagrac0 (1410377) | about 5 years ago | (#29994132)

For lemons, limes, and oranges - fruits where the skin is used as a garnish - I'd prefer to stick with stickers. I can remove a sticker, but I can't un-etch the skin, and I may not be able to cut around it for a pretty orange twist in my cosmopolitan.

Re:An answer in search for a problem? (1)

IBBoard (1128019) | about 5 years ago | (#29993972)

Washing fruit? Pah, I just give apples a quick rub on my t-shirt and then bite it ;)

TBH it has been a long time since I last saw one with a label stuck on it, but maybe that's because I mainly get them at corporate lunches and from pre-picked bags rather than individual ones.

Wow Humans Have Little Clue... (0)

SerpentMage (13390) | about 5 years ago | (#29993602)

Ok the article talks about laser etching... Meaning it burns the skin... What does the article comment say:

Is that ink? What is it made of?
Honestly, I have some reservations about zesting that into my lemon squares

All I can think of is Homer Simpson... Do people not think about things at all???? Do people not understand English? Etching means...

to cut, bite, or corrode with an acid or the like;

In this case it is a laser, and hence it means to cut or bite with a laser... I just shake my head...

Re:Wow Humans Have Little Clue... (2, Informative)

clone53421 (1310749) | about 5 years ago | (#29993970)

Wow, do you just totally not understand laser etching or are you acting ignorant on purpose?

Laser etching uses thermal energy (heat) to burn the surface, causing the colour to change. There are no inks, acids, or any other additives. It's no different from sticking it under a broiler and waiting, but with a laser you pack the energy into a small burst so you don't cook the whole fruit, just the surface.

Re:Wow Humans Have Little Clue... (1)

SerpentMage (13390) | about 5 years ago | (#29994080)

I do understand laser etching...

Read the article, and read the comment afterwards...

In fact you are making my point completely!!!!

Re:Wow Humans Have Little Clue... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29994016)

I think they have a problem with the part where etching causes a BLUE mark

can we burn our MP3 files on this lemon? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29993628)

can we burn our MP3 files on this lemon? :)

Re:can we burn our MP3 files on this lemon? (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | about 5 years ago | (#29993990)

Use a lime, thread several onto long string, give to neighbour. Whoops, illegal file sharing on limewire...

Barcodes (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29993642)

Does this mean we can finally replace PLUs with UPCs? I'd no longer have to wait in the self-checkout line behind the guy who's looking for a picture of an endive.

Really? Laser etching? (-1, Redundant)

grozniy (1274944) | about 5 years ago | (#29993648)

What's next? Advertisement on fruit? Sure... just cover all my food with viagra ads.

Re:Really? Laser etching? (1)

zach_the_lizard (1317619) | about 5 years ago | (#29993762)

The spammers will instantly attack bananas with ads for P3N1$ EnL4rg3mEnt or V14gra.

Re:Really? Laser etching? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29993784)

Gives you more reason to put a banana in your pants.

Re:Really? Laser etching? (1)

bcmm (768152) | about 5 years ago | (#29993928)

See, this makes me think about this the other way 'round: ads etched on tablets. Spammers could provide free, ad-supported medication for dangerous off-label use.

Re:Really? Laser etching? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29994138)

What's next? Advertisement on fruit? Sure... just cover all my food with viagra ads.

They should do that with the "enlarge your manhood" ads and bananas. Some of those huge bananas that the American multinationals seem to favour made me quite jealous :-/

Boon! (4, Funny)

aerthling (796790) | about 5 years ago | (#29993654)

This is particularly good news for me, because I can only eat foods that have been etched with a laser. Goodbye scurvy!

Making fruit less usefull (0)

CaptBubba (696284) | about 5 years ago | (#29993668)

Great, now when I need zest for a recipe, instead of just being able to give a fruit a good wash and scrub (which you are supposed to do before eating it anyway) I will have to use more fruit to get the same amount of zest because I will have to avoid the massive laser etched brand names that this will inevitably lead to.

Re:Making fruit less usefull (1)

bcmm (768152) | about 5 years ago | (#29993950)

Great, now when I need zest for a recipe, instead of just being able to give a fruit a good wash and scrub (which you are supposed to do before eating it anyway) I will have to use more fruit to get the same amount of zest because I will have to avoid the massive laser etched brand names that this will inevitably lead to.

So you'd need to find the brands that don't do this, like one already has to do (at least in the UK) to avoid the ones which are waxed to make them last longer.

Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29993676)

Why do we need a sticker label anyway? Just label the punnets or crates or whatever the fruit are shipped in, and assume the contents match? Seems like a solution in search of a problem...

Solution in search of a problem? (1)

SlappyBastard (961143) | about 5 years ago | (#29993684)

The sales pitch: "How many times have you bit into a piece of fruit only to find that you're also chomping on a sticker label?"

1. If this sales pitch were any dumber, I'd assume it was a quote from a Simpsons episode I had somehow missed.

2. Getting rid of fruit labels is a bad marketing idea. Kids freakin love them.

3. Any sales pitch like this is indicative of a solution in search of a problem. It sounds like a pitch from a bad infomercial.

Is this an infomercial? (1)

hal2814 (725639) | about 5 years ago | (#29993686)

"How many times have you bit into a piece of fruit only to find that you're also chomping on a sticker label?"

What the hell? This sounds like infomercial lady. You know, the lady who can't open jars, puts her lamps too far away from the bed to be able to turn them off from the bed, learned basic household tasks like cleaning the bathroom or doing laundry by watching Vaudeville shows, can't figure out that she needs to wear a sports bra with a tank top, etc. This person is already too dumb to live. Let's not help her out further by using a frickin laser to etch info on the sides of fruit just so she doesn't have to worry to check for the sticker which is almost always there (and pretty hard to miss when you're washing the fruit).

Dude (4, Insightful)

ShooterNeo (555040) | about 5 years ago | (#29993738)

For a technology site, most of the comments here are surprisingly anti-technology.

A new graphics card comes out? Commentors will gripe that old school games with shitty graphics are better anyway.

A new CPU comes out? Same thing : commentors will complain that extra CPU power is just more cycles for crummy, inefficient programming to squander with useless eye candy features.

A laser that eliminates that annoying plastic label on fruit and the FCKING ARTICLE says that it's safe? Commentors say that THEY won't benefit because THEY always peel and wash their fruit, and they're afraid that the lasering will make fruit decay sooner (without reading the article that says the lasering does not appreciably damage the fruit's skin)

Re:Dude (2, Funny)

Rude Turnip (49495) | about 5 years ago | (#29993840)

You must be new here!

Re:Dude (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29993992)

People who are heavily involved in technology are more likely to be aware that it is a tool to be used appropriately. Not the anodyne to everything and not, per se, better.

Finally. (4, Funny)

NoPantsJim (1149003) | about 5 years ago | (#29993746)

Thank god we've finally gotten to the bottom of that whole fruit label thing. Maybe now we can get around to tackling cancer.

Re:Finally. (1)

maxume (22995) | about 5 years ago | (#29993946)

Survival rates for cancer go up each year. The treatments become more refined (making them easier to go through) and better targeted (meaning they work better).

You are joking, but a serious look at the success of cancer treatments now and then can only lead to the conclusion that things are getting better at a pretty good clip.

Re:Finally. (1)

NoPantsJim (1149003) | about 5 years ago | (#29993988)

Yeah, I get it, my mom survived breast cancer.

Thanks for shitting all over everything I said, though. Much appreciated.

Re:Finally. (1)

maxume (22995) | about 5 years ago | (#29994042)

I didn't shit on anything. See, yesterday, I overheard two morons in the local library discussing all the governments lies (they never thought to question each others credibility), and one of the fun things they were discussing was how 'all that money' has gone into cancer research and nothing has come of it, and that there were conspiracies to 'make sure people didn't eat foods that made them better' so that 'some people could make money on it' and you happened to touch that nerve (you didn't say anything stupid, you just conveyed indifference...which is the sort of things those morons will take as agreeing with their idiocy).

Re:Finally. (1)

NoPantsJim (1149003) | about 5 years ago | (#29994102)

Thanks for clearing that up, you sound much less crazy now.

Re:Finally. (3, Funny)

maxume (22995) | about 5 years ago | (#29994224)

You're the one not wearing any pants.

Or... Don't label it on the fruit at all! (1)

thue (121682) | about 5 years ago | (#29993790)

Or... Don't label it on the fruit at all!

If you need to label it "Florida citrus", do it on the outside the box in the supermarket.

Actually that labelling on the fruit must be a US thing. They don't do it here in Denmark.

Re:Or... Don't label it on the fruit at all! (1)

thetagger (1057066) | about 5 years ago | (#29994126)

Actually that labelling on the fruit must be a US thing. They don't do it here in Denmark.

And most of the world I guess. In most countries, people don't need a sticker to tell them that an apple is an apple and a watermelon is a watermelon.

can't they just make the sticker edible? (1, Insightful)

locksmith101 (1017864) | about 5 years ago | (#29993792)

Maybe it's just me, but I feel that I haven't tasted a real fruit (or vegetable) for some years now. Non-organic fruits have a similar tasteless taste. Anyway, making fruity flavoured edible stickers would make just as much sense as tattooing food.

Solving nothing, there is no problem (1)

captainpanic (1173915) | about 5 years ago | (#29993794)

"How many times have you bit into a piece of fruit only to find that you're also chomping on a sticker label?

Answer: Never
They're quite easy to spot: they look like a little sticker label.
In addition, most fruits here don't even have a sticker. We're quite capable of distinguishing between a banana and an apple without sticker. :D

Good Luck... (1)

LordofEntropy (250334) | about 5 years ago | (#29993802)

with getting the sharks focused on labeling produce.

Won't help - produce codes (1)

BriGal (216681) | about 5 years ago | (#29993810)

The etching may be all well and good for the brand names, but I believe most grocery stores use different produce codes. So the individual stores will still need to put stickers on.

Re:Won't help - produce codes (1)

maxume (22995) | about 5 years ago | (#29993976)

Probably not, the stores have managed to adapt to boxes that are the same across the nation.

How long before they "enhance" the appearance (1)

FridgeFreezer (1352537) | about 5 years ago | (#29993814)

If they can laser etch messages then the next step is using it to remove blemishes, enhance the appearance, and effectively "photoshop" food to make it appear more photogenic.

Then again, am I the only one who thinks this could be the next step in tattoo art - never mind some hairy goth with a needle, give me a CNC laser that can print my choice of design onto my arm at 1200dpi and I might consider it.

those stickers are edible (1)

j1mmy (43634) | about 5 years ago | (#29993838)

they don't taste that bad, really.

We don't need no stickers at all.. (1)

discomike (1291084) | about 5 years ago | (#29993846)

You could put the label on the boxes, or on a sign in the store.. come to think of it, they already do, so why the hell do you need stickers on each individual piece of fruit?

Re:We don't need no stickers at all.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29994012)

Cause cashiers can't distinguish a banana from a plum if there isn't a sticker with the number ...
No kidding, when I buy vegetables (say boston lettuce) they ask me what it is ...
This is *america* what do you expect?
People that can think and type numbers at the same time ?

Sad Cats (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29993864)

Well what the hell am i supposed to stick on my cats' foreheads now.

I don't want to know where it comes from . . . (3, Funny)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about 5 years ago | (#29993866)

. . . I want to know if it tastes good.

Fruit should be lasered according to how it tastes: "Good", "Great!", "Sweaty Tennis Socks", etc.

Long Run (1)

Demonantis (1340557) | about 5 years ago | (#29993870)

Considering the amount of fruit that is produced in a given year, even though the stickers are really cheap. This system will probably pay for itself fairly quickly just by removing the cost of putting the stickers on. I suspect that once the FDA approves it we will be seeing it all over the market more for this reason then for the consumers. I'm excited because all the people that litter and paste them on things won't be able to anymore.

I've never bit into fruit with labels... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29993872)

...'coz I wash my greens/fruits carefully before eating them. Anything else would be just disgusting.

And you think it will just be for labeling? (4, Insightful)

hyades1 (1149581) | about 5 years ago | (#29993884)

Once this is in use, I don't imagine it will be long before your fruit is covered with more ads than a NASCAR racing suit. On the up-side, the opportunities for a bit of creative pranking are just about limitless.

Never. (1)

nmg196 (184961) | about 5 years ago | (#29993892)

"How many times have you bit into a piece of fruit only to find that you're also chomping on a sticker label?

Never. Not a single time. Unless you eat fruit in the dark, or are blind, this simply never happens and this is a solution looking for a problem.
Personally I think it makes the fruit itself somehow artificial and unappealing. I doubt this will ever catch on. I'd rather eat one that hasn't been maimed - it will also look nicer in the fruit bowl without the skin-spam.

How many times...? (1, Troll)

Hurricane78 (562437) | about 5 years ago | (#29993900)

How many times have you bit into a piece of fruit only to find that you're also chomping on a sticker label?

Exactly as many times, as a happened to be a complete and utter drooling retard with no right to live, who should have long ago received a Darwin award! (I.e. never!)

Sounds good unless.. (2, Insightful)

Magreger_V (1441121) | about 5 years ago | (#29993930)

Sounds good as long as it doesn't compromise the foods shelf life in any way. The skin on fruits and vegetables is a barrier against pathogens. If the skin is broken or marked the fruit will spoil much faster.

Dear /. editors (0, Offtopic)

arielCo (995647) | about 5 years ago | (#29993956)

Anybody know how submissions [slashdot.org] are processed for acceptance? I guess it's nice to see the story finally made it, even if someone else had to submit it again almost a month later.

arielCo writes "Those helpful-yet-annoying little stickers on fruits that tell the cashier the variety and brand may be replaced with a CO2 laser etching [physorg.com] . Quoth the PhysOrg article: "the laser cauterizes the peel, much like when a laser is used on human skin. The cauterized area is impenetrable to pathogens and decay organisms and resists water loss". Demonstrated on a grapefruit, it is due for testing on "tomatoes, avocado and other citrus fruits". The original paper (abstract) [ashspublications.org] requires a paid subscription."

Remove sticker before inserting in mouth. (1)

Kartoffel (30238) | about 5 years ago | (#29993982)

"How many times have you bit into a piece of fruit only to find that you're also chomping on a sticker label?"

ZERO. Don't you wash your fruit before eating it? Sheesh.

Could we be any more lazy? (1)

dae3dae3 (1434795) | about 5 years ago | (#29994046)

Now we can't even be bothered to peel a tiny sticker off a piece of fruit.

Oh the tyranny of fruit stickers (1)

BeanThere (28381) | about 5 years ago | (#29994084)

"How many times have you bit into a piece of fruit only to find that you're also chomping on a sticker label?"

Honestly? Never. Ever. I didn't know this was a problem tha

Correction (-1, Offtopic)

BeanThere (28381) | about 5 years ago | (#29994086)

Slashdot's preview didn't match what got posted. That was supposed to be: I didn't know this was a problem that needed solving.

I, for one (1)

osomoore (1446439) | about 5 years ago | (#29994118)

welcome our new laser-etched fruit-lords.

In other words... (1)

axl917 (1542205) | about 5 years ago | (#29994146)

money is being spent to protect people from their own stupidity.

Biting into the label? Seriously?

Meh (1)

ladadadada (454328) | about 5 years ago | (#29994160)

This is another one of those annoying blog posts where some uninformed non-scientist copy-pastes an article from a reputable scientific reporting organisation. At least in this case he linked to the original: http://www.physorg.com/news176483573.html [physorg.com] which appears to be a duplicate of an even older article: http://www.physorg.com/news170927623.html [physorg.com]

The main advantage appears to be not that people don't have to peel the sticker off before eating their apples but rather that the label cannot be tampered with. (Or at least, not easily.)

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