The Food Safety & Standard Authority of India (FSSAI) recently advised traders not to use stickers on fruits that do not provide any traceability or other regulatory information. They emphasized that the presence of stickers does not guarantee premium fruit quality.
The use of stickers on food products to provide information on traceability, grades, price and the like is a common practice across the globe. Apples, kiwis, mangoes, oranges, bananas, pears, bell peppers are some common fruits and vegetables that have stickers applied directly on their surfaces.
However, it is observed that in India, traders use stickers to make their product look premium and sometimes to hide any decay or defect on the product. "Tested OK" or "Best Quality" are some common terms on stickers that do however not have any significance, the guidance note pointed.
Furthermore, a wide variety of adhesives is used for these stickers. The safety of these adhesives is not known; they may even contain harmful chemicals.