The New York Times has reportedthe increased use of tattooing technology to identify individual pieces of fruit with pricing and other information. Since 9/11, the United States government has been encouraging fruit suppliers to experiment with different ways to “track and trace” produce. Different ways of identifying fruit with “PLU” (price look-up number) numbers is being tested, among them tattooing and scannable bar-coding etched into the wax coating a piece of fruit. The idea is to replace those annoying little stickers.

In 2002, Georgia fruit grower and distributer Durand-Wayland bought the patent for a process that etches the PLU number and any other information directly into the skin of the fruit. The process permanently tattoos each piece of fruit, without piercing the skin.