Why are there number stickers on your fruit and what do they mean?

February 3, 2017, 6:03 pm
Why are there number stickers on your fruit and what do they mean?
YOUR HEALTH
YOUR HEALTH
Why are there number stickers on your fruit and what do they mean?

Why are there number stickers on your fruit and what do they mean?

Remember collecting the fruit stickers or sticking them to your desk or the back of doors?? But have you ever thought about why fruits have stickers on them?

But now all is revealed by wellness coach Dr Frank Lipman - who says the stickers can actually be used in a clever way to find out exactly how your piece of fruit was grown.

Every fruit sticker has what is called a PLU code, otherwise known as a price look-up number.

There are three different codes, and the sets of numbers identify if the fruit has been grown conventionally, organically or has been genetically-modified, says Dr Frank.

If your fruit has a four digit number on it, such as 4020, then that means it has been grown using conventional methods.

One example is bananas, which all have the same code '4011' if they have been grown conventionally.

But if there is a five digit code beginning with the number '9', such as 94011 for bananas, then you know your fruit has been grown organically.

If you're trying to avoid genetically-modified products, then take care of fruit that has a sticker with a five-digit code on it beginning with an '8'.

With GM bananas, the code will always be 84011.

The codes are handed out by the International Federation for Produce Standards (IFPS), a global organisation which assigns codes to fruit being sold all over the world.

The idea is make inventory checks and supermarket check-outs for bulk produce quicker and more accurate by standardising the process.

The codes have been used in supermarkets all over the world since 1990.

And it doesn't matter where a piece of fruit was grown or ended up; a banana in Leeds is going to have the same '4011' code as in Texas if it was conventionally grown.

So next time you're about to peel a banana or bite into an apple, check your sticker to see how it was grown.

And if talk of stickers has got you worried about eating something that's had an adhesive on it, then be reassured: the adhesive on the back of the sticker is safe to eat.

But we don't recommend eating the sticker itself.