Marking fruit and vegetables with edible food grade ink
Tracepack - Sep 18th, 09:36
A fruit sticker may seem an unlikely cause for environmental concern but removing it from food products could create huge savings in plastic, energy and CO2 emissions and with the move to item-level serialization on fruit and vegetables, allowing identification of each product unit instead of the packaging, is a powerful tool to fight counterfeiting and gives the consumer the ability to not only track the entire life cycle of the product through the supply chain but also allows product identification and a unique consumer engagement platform, thus enhancing the consumer experience.
While our article last week mentioned laser engraving directly onto the fresh produce Tracepack also offers edible thermal inkjet inks which are a unique and extremely low-cost method of printing onto fruit and vegetables. Visible and invisible inks are the first edible inks containing FDA approved food grade solvents, resins and dyes, which offer rub resistance on a wide variety of fruit and vegetables and provide item-level identification directly on fruit and vegetables.
POLYtrust® UV Invisible ink for direct contact with foods such as fruit & vegetables, cakes and confectionery is visible under a black light, POLYtrust® inks offer you the ability to print covertly onto food, enabling manufacturers the ability to print security or anti-counterfeit information. POLYtrust visible ink is HACCP certified and consists of FDA & FD&C dyes for direct printing on food products. The inks provide eye-catching colour, crisp text and sharp logo and barcode output. These inks offer new options never thought possible, now growers and wholesalers can print with HACCP certified inks that can either be invisible or visible to the consumer.
In addition to using the inks on the fruit and vegetables, we can custom design an anti-counterfeit solution to include an authentication app and website.
Benefits of direct food marking
• Less single-use packaging
• Reduces the printing of plastic labels
• Marked directly onto the food
• Minimized environmental impact
• The consumer can easily identify fresh produce that is out of traditional packaging
• Reduces food waste
How safe are the resins which are used to print the product you may ask?
The dyes used in POLYtrust ® edible invisible inks can be found in virtually every food pantry in the world! At less than 50ppm there is no detectable taste and can be washed off the fruit with water prior to eating. POLYtrust ® edible HP thermal inkjet inks offer organic suppliers less risk and maximum reward when marking organic fruit & vegetables.
While existing traceability solutions trace the package at lot level Tracepack offers a solution which is the only on-food which is an effective, efficient and low-cost system that can trace the food and not the packaging. SafetracersTM is patented edible DNA barcodes which are FDA approved, food-safe particles, drawn from seaweed, that behave like pathogens and deliver full transparency into the safety and provenance of food and agricultural products, these barcodes have no effect on shelf life, flavour or odour of products. They enable producers and processors to protect their brands and reduce food waste and recall costs and the web-based app integrates easily with other systems.
According to the World Wildlife Foundation, food waste statistics in South Africa are shocking in a country where millions go hungry every day, a third of all food is never consumed and ends up at the rubbish dumps. Of this, fruits, vegetables and cereals account for 70% of the wastage and loss primarily throughout the food supply chain and is valued at a loss of R61.5billon. Government has made a global commitment to halve food waste by 2030, by marking at item level on fruits and vegetables we can reduce our food waste by having best before dates on the products and not the packaging and ensuring we aren’t getting fruit and vegetables which are rotten.
Click here for more information on Mitas
Globally, retailers and other businesses are beginning to recognise the damaging effects plastics have on the environment. Plastic is full of toxic compounds that are adding to an ever-increasing pollution crisis on land, sea, and air because unlike organic matter, plastic can take centuries to degrade.
The drive toward naked produce is gaining momentum, with producers under immense pressure to respond to the growing calls to reduce plastic waste. It’s no small wonder, considering that from 1950 to 2015, cumulative plastic production reached a whopping 7.8 billion metric tons – giving us more than one ton of plastic per person on earth.
According to World Health Organisation statistics, an estimated 600 million people in the world fall ill because of contaminated food. A shocking 420 000 of these cases result in deaths. The basis of most regulation and standard for food is quality and record-keeping or the traceability thereof, with the new regulation being enforced this does not only apply to the food premises but the environment throughout the entire supply chain of these products and requires a maintained traceability system and recall procedure is in place.
With the new regulation R638 being implemented there is an increase in supply chain transparency, accountability, and security. One key to achieving gains in all three areas lies in the ability to trace the source of foods and their ingredients, from farm to fork.