Have you seen the little “model” stickers on 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 distinguish the distinction between Fuji apples from Gala apples. That little helpful sticker has the value lookup (PLU) code to speed up the check out process. However do you know that the search for number also tells you more? Do you need to know what?
The number on that little sticker, not solely is the price look number, it additionally tells how the product is grown or created. This has made news not too long ago with the release of the new rules for “organic” labeling.
For conventionally grown fruit, the PLU code on the sticker consists of 4 numbers. Organically grown fruit have a 5-numeral PLU beginning with the number 9. Genetically engineered fruit has a 5-numeral PLU starting with the number 8.
After I read about this labeling, I decided to scout my refrigerator for the little stickers. The bananas and apples each were 4 digits – that means conventionally grown fruit.
So utilizing this numbering system, a conventionally grown banana would be 4011, an organic banana would 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 Electronic Identification Board, an affiliate of the Produce Advertising Association, a trade group for the Produce Labels 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!
Based on the Produce Advertising and marketing Affiliation, some shippers have begun utilizing stickers designed with tabs that make them easier to lift off, and are buying equipment that applies adhesive to the sticker but to not the tab.
Companies are additionally experimenting with different sticker supplies, comparable to vinyl, that hold up under a wide range of temperature and moisture conditions.
The adhesive now used to connect the stickers is meals-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 bought the sticker off the bananas to wear as tattoos! They weren’t an issue…just not sufficient on a bunch.
So the following 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 results of genetic engineering? It’s all in the number – which can also be the price search for code for the cashier. A easy number for a complex situation.