How are the etchings on the fruit made?
Using the patented and FDA approved Natural Light Labeling system, pigment is simply removed from the upper 2-3 layers of the fruit skin in a fraction of a second to reveal a contrast between the color of the fruit skin and the area etched by the labeling system. To provide context, the typical citrus fruit skin is comprised of several dozens of layers, therefore, there is extremely little interaction between the fruit’s skin and the concentrated light used to label the fruit.
Is it safe to handle and eat fruit that’s been marked by the labeling system?
Absolutely. The Food and Drug Administration performed rigorous testing and analysis over five years to ensure that the Natural Light Labeling system is completely safe. This testing and analysis included shelf life studies, where the FDA placed marked fruit through different temperature and humidity cycles with time variables to replicate the process of bringing fruit from the grower to the consumer. The FDA particularly looked for any symptoms of quality degradation caused by the labeling; however, test results confirmed that marking the fruit with the system does not allow for the introduction of pathogens into the fruit or otherwise affect quality and freshness in any manner.
Are there any restrictions on the types of fruit that can be marked using the system?
No, but currently the FDA has only approved use of the system on citrus fruit. We expect other fruit types, such as apples, bananas, pears, peaches, melons, and more to be approved in the future.
How is the food coloring applied to the etching?
The food coloring is applied to the citrus after the etching is made using a variety of methods including blotting and rinsing, all depending upon what looks best based on the particular image and characteristics of the citrus skin. After color is applied, each piece of citrus receives a fresh application of wax to ensure freshness. Except in rare instances, all citrus is waxed after harvest (including citrus at the grocery store) and we’re simply re-coating to the etched area before we ship. The food color and wax are FDA approved.
Is the food coloring used to enhance the marked area safe?
Yes. We only use FD&C colors to enhance the marked area of the fruit peel, which are color additives approved by the FDA for use in food. These color additives are commonly used in bakery goods, cereals, candy, sauces, snacks, and other food.
What are the size limitations of the fruit and markings?
The labeling system can handle almost any fruit size and make single or multiple markings on the same piece of fruit. The size of each marking is only limited by the curvature of the fruit.
Are there any limitations on the types of images that can be marked on fruit?
There are no limitations on the types of designs the system can label on the fruit. Your fruit can be labeled with any text or design markings including your logo, taglines, hashtags, and more. As a general rule, the more complex the design, the longer it takes to mark the fruit. We accept images in vector formats ai, eps, or pdf.
How do I receive the marked fruit?
We deliver directly to you from our warehouse or, if you’re a business, we are happy to explore establishing a relationship with your preferred distributor.
Can a piece of fruit be marked multiple times in preparation to be cut into wedges for use in beverages?
Yes, the labeling system is flexible enough to accommodate multiple markings for wedges.
Where do you buy your fruit?
We take the quality of our fruit very seriously and in most cases hand select it directly from growers and packing houses in California.
How fresh is the fruit?
The fruit we deliver is as fresh as if you purchased it directly from your own distributor and usually fresher than what you find in supermarkets. In most cases, you will receive your fruit within 1 week from the time that it leaves the packing house of origin.
Can anyone else provide me with the same labeling service?
No. Citrusmark holds an exclusive field of use license to the patents and other intellectual property covering the Natural Light Labeling system for novelty, advertising, and marketing applications.