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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: The anatomy of a laser label

Authors
item Etxeberria, Ed -
item Narciso, Cody -
item Sood, Preeti -
item Gonzalez, Pedro -
item Narciso, Jan

Submitted to: Proceedings of Florida State Horticultural Society
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: November 1, 2009
Publication Date: March 19, 2010
Citation: Etxeberria, E., Narciso, C., Sood, P., Gonzalez, P., Narciso, J. 2009. The anatomy of a laser label. Proceedings of Florida State Horticultural Society. 122:347-349.

Interpretive Summary: Laser labeling of fruits and vegetables is an efficient alternative to adhesive tags. The advantages of this system are numerous. In general the label consists of alphanumerical characters formed by laser generated pinhole depressions that penetrate the produce’s surface creating visible markings. However, the perceived consequences of these superficial ruptures of the cuticle and epidermis have been primary concern of industry personnel and government agencies. In a developmental study of etched markings on tomato and avocado it was demonstrated that the laser induced pinhole depressions did not penetrate far into the epidermis. Lignin was deposited in the pinholes demonstrating a self-healing mechanism.

Technical Abstract: Laser labeling of fruits and vegetables is an efficient alternative to adhesive tags. The advantages of this system are numerous. In general the label consists of alphanumerical characters formed by laser generated pinhole depressions that penetrate the produce’s surface creating visible markings. However, the perceived consequences of these superficial ruptures of the cuticle and epidermis have been primary concern of industry personnel and government agencies. In a developmental study of etched markings on tomato and avocado it was demonstrated that the laser induced pinhole depressions did not penetrate far into the epidermis. Lignin was deposited in the pinholes demonstrating a self-healing mechanism.

Last Modified: 12/19/2014
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