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Fresh produce natural branding & laser labelling to combat plastic waste

Consumers often ask themselves why organic products like cucumbers of all things are shrink-wrapped in plastic. Back in 2018, Ocean Care in Switzerland managed to convince major food retailers to change this by starting a petition against plastic for organic goods. The organization said: “It was great to see a drop in the proportion of plastic packaging from four of the Swiss food suppliers under review. Coop Switzerland reduced its plastic packaging by 7.7%, Aldi managed a decrease of 8% and Lidl achieved 8.7%.”

A great benefit can be attributed to innovative “natural branding” technology which acts in a way like a ‘laser tattoo’. In the natural branding process, a laser controlled by a deflection unit removes the top pigment layer of the natural skin of the food. Natural branding with laser does not require any additional color and impregnates the desired lettering or company logo directly onto the food by means of a focused light beam.

Achieved using a blue laser light system in a cold marking process, it generates negligible heat on the goods. It also exhibits high absorption, good processing efficiency and low energy output. The method is currently used on foods like garlic, onions, nuts, eggs, lemons, mangoes, or sweet potatoes.

Natural branding of fresh fruit and vegetables using Raylase's blue laser / Image: Raylase

Already tried and tested abroad, the technology has been in use in Australia since 2009. “Natural branding is risk-free. Marking with a blue laser system that includes an opto-mechanical deflection unit offers many advantages including high reliability, long service life, minimal space requirements and a safe process. It also offers completely new possibilities for sustainable and resource-efficient marking,” affirms Wolfgang Lehmann, product manager at Raylase.


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