Submitted to: Proceedings of Florida State Horticultural Society
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: November 19, 2008
Publication Date: April 1, 2009
Citation: Sood, P., Ference, C., Narciso, J., Etxeberria, E. 2008. Effects of laser labeling on the quality of tangerines during storage. Proceedings of Florida State Horticultural Society. 121:297-300. Interpretive Summary: Laser labeling is a new technology that serves to ameliorate many problems caused by the present system we have of using paper labels. Primarily there is less paper waste and damage to the fruit surface with adhesives. Also, in this age of security, a paper label and the information on it can be removed and/or adulterated but with a labeled label, once it is on the peel it will not come off and cannot be changed. Because this is a new technology, this project addresses some of the potential problems that might occur with the use of a laser on a peel and this includes any increases in water loss and decay. We hope to show that there is little damage to the fruit and that the positive aspects of using a laser to label produce will be enough to offset any minor difficulties.
Technical Abstract: Etching the required information on fruit and vegetables is an alternative means to label produce. Low energy CO2 laser etches the surface showing the contrasting underlying layer. These etched surfaces can promote water loss and potentially allow for pathogen entry. Studies were conducted to measure water loss and potential decay due to laser labeling in citrus fruit during storage. Laser labeled fruit stored at 50 °F and 95% RH for 5 weeks showed no increase in decay compared to control non-etched fruit. It was observed that laser labeling did not facilitate decay at any energy level. Water loss from etched areas was proportional to laser energy levels and ambient relative humidity. Etching reduced spore germination in fruit surfaces previously inoculated with Penicillium spores, and did not facilitate decay in labeled fruit subsequently inoculated with a suspension containing Penicillium spores.