NPR : News

Filed Under:

A Dissolving Fruit Sticker That Claims Soap Superpowers

Scott Amron really doesn't like peeling those little stickers off fruit from the grocery store. "They're pesky and annoying and they create waste," he tells The Salt. So, he decided to do something about it.

"I thought [the labels] could serve some sort of secondary purpose rather than being thrown away," says Amron, a New York-based designer and engineer who's best known for inventing the Brush & Rinse toothbrush. "Originally I wanted the label to help clean the fruit, and that evolved into having it dissolve."

Today, Amron's firm is preparing to roll out Fruitwash, a sticker that turns into a soap under running water. Once dissolved, the Fruitwash allegedly removes wax, pesticides, and dirt from fruit and vegetables. And while he won't reveal what the sticker is made of, Amron says it contains all "organic" ingredients.

It's a nice idea, but food safety experts say Fruitwash, or any other fruit and vegetable wash on the market, isn't that much more effective at cleaning produce than plain old water.

In 2007, researchers at the Institute of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at Tennessee State University tested Veggie Wash against both diluted vinegar and plain water. Sandria Godwin, the researcher who oversaw the project, told NPR at the time that, "We really did not really find the veggie washes effective or necessary."

This month The Salt checked in with Godwin, who told us that she still thinks "water works as well as anything else. It is the scrubbing that is important." But she says she likes the idea that Amron's Fruitwash sticker doesn't create extra waste.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention agrees that rinsing fresh food with water is the best way to keep it safe. Squeaky clean cutting boards and utensils will also help keep the risky bacteria at bay. And for more on which fruits and veggies need the most cleaning before eating, check out this post from our friends at Shots.

As for those pesky stickers, researchers at the Oregon State University Food Innovation Center are developing a laser labeling system that would make an imprint on the surface of the fruit.

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit


In The 'Golden Age Of Television,' Advertising Intersects With Programming

NPR's Robert Siegel speaks with New Yorker television critic Emily Nussbaum about her essay on the new model of advertising in the so-called "golden age of television."

California City Orders Restaurants To Use Disposable Plates, Cups

Officials in Fort Bragg also ordered restaurants to serve water to customers only upon request. As part of a stage 3 water emergency, things like washing cars using city water are prohibited, too.

The Year In Space: U.S., Russian Spacefarers On The International Station

NPR's Kelly McEvers speaks with NASA Commander Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko, who are spending the year on the International Space Station.

Why You Should Keep A Tighter Grip On Airline Boarding Passes

You might want to think twice before shoving that boarding pass into the seat pocket in front of you. Security reporter Brian Krebs says there could be sensitive information on it.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.