Have you ever noticed the little “brand” stickers in your bananas, apples, peaches, pears, mangos, kiwi, and other seasonal fruits? These stickers are useful for the store clerk, as they don’t have to differentiate the difference between Fuji apples from Gala apples. That little useful sticker has the worth lookup (PLU) code to speed up the check out process. However did you know that the search for number additionally tells you more? Do you need to know what?
The number on that little sticker, not solely is the value look number, it also tells how the product is grown or created. This has made news recently with the discharge of the new rules for “organic” labeling.
For conventionally grown fruit, the PLU code on the sticker consists of four numbers. Organically grown fruit have a 5-numeral PLU beginning with the number 9. Genetically engineered fruit has a five-numeral PLU beginning with the number 8.
Once I read about this labeling, I decided to scout my fridge for the little stickers. The bananas and apples both had been four digits – which means conventionally grown Fruit labels.
So utilizing this numbering system, a conventionally grown banana can be 4011, an natural banana can be 94011, and a genetically engineered banana can be 84011. Fascinating isn’t it?
Who developed this numbering system? The numeric system was developed by the Produce Electronic Identification Board, an affiliate of the Produce Advertising Affiliation, a trade group for the produce industry.
While the stickers are useful to the cashiers to accurately identify and price produce, there are many complaints about how well the stickers stick!
According to the Produce Advertising Affiliation, some shippers have begun using stickers designed with tabs that make them simpler to lift off, and are shopping for equipment that applies adhesive to the sticker but not to the tab.
Companies are also experimenting with totally different sticker supplies, corresponding to vinyl, that hold up underneath a variety of temperature and moisture conditions.
The adhesive now used to connect the stickers is meals-grade, but the stickers themselves aren’t edible. To remove cussed ones, soak in warm water for a minute or two. As a child, we used to argue over who got the sticker off the bananas to wear as tattoos! They weren’t a problem…just not enough on a bunch.
So the subsequent time you pick up that kiwi, melon, pineapple, apple or banana, check out the numbering system. Is it conventionally or organically grown? Or, is it a result of genetic engineering? It’s all in the number – which is also the price look up code for the cashier. A easy number for a complex situation.