Have you ever noticed the little “brand” stickers in your bananas, apples, peaches, pears, mangos, kiwi, and other seasonal fruits? Those stickers are helpful for the store clerk, as they don’t have to distinguish the difference between Fuji apples from Gala apples. That little helpful sticker has the price search for (PLU) code to speed up the check out process. However do you know that the lookup number also tells you more? Do you want 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 just lately with the release of the new rules for “natural” 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 5-numeral PLU beginning with the number 8.
When I read about this labeling, I decided to scout my fridge for the little stickers. The bananas and apples both were four digits – meaning conventionally grown fruit.
So using this numbering system, a conventionally grown banana can be 4011, an natural banana can be 94011, and a genetically engineered banana could be 84011. Fascinating isn’t it?
Who developed this numbering system? The numeric system was developed by the Produce Digital Identification Board, an affiliate of the Produce Advertising Affiliation, a trade group for the produce industry.
While the stickers are helpful to the cashiers to accurately establish and value Produce Labels, there are plenty of complaints about how well the stickers stick!
Based on the Produce Advertising and marketing Affiliation, some shippers have begun using stickers designed with tabs that make them simpler to lift off, and are buying equipment that applies adhesive to the sticker however to not the tab.
Companies are also experimenting with totally different sticker supplies, comparable to vinyl, that hold up below a variety of temperature and moisture conditions.
The adhesive now used to connect the stickers is food-grade, however the stickers themselves aren’t edible. To remove stubborn ones, soak in warm water for a minute or two. As a child, we used to argue over who received 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 can be the worth search for code for the cashier. A easy number for a posh situation.