Every day, millions of eggs are farmed, packaged and consumed by hungry customers around the world. However, given the short shelf-life of the product, the production is subject to stringent health regulations. One consequence of this is that most producers need to code each individual egg with information that tells buyers and transporters about provenance and freshness at every stage of the supply chain.
Many countries around the world already require standardized egg coding. Increasingly, producers are being required to print information directly onto eggs or egg cartons, such as a manufacturer code, the laying date or other production-related information. But egg coding can create significant added value for both the consumer and the producer even when the process is not mandated by law.
● Compliance with local regulations for egg coding
● Increased transparency and food safety foster trust among consumers
● Complete product and process traceability for producers and consumers
● Purchase-related information is passed on to the end consumer (e.g. farming conditions)
● Concrete differentiation between competitors (especially in countries without mandatory marking and coding)
● Retaining customers: manufacturer logos create recognition value and contribute to brand identity, especially in developing countries where eggs are sold individually and not packaged together
● Increased production efficiency
Continuous inkjet printers provide maximum flexibility because they can be used to print fixed or variable information and, thanks to non-contact printing, different sized eggs are coded safely and reliably without readjusting the printhead.
It's your choice! Text, codes, or logos can be positioned anywhere thanks to the flexible printhead - which means anywhere on the egg itself or on the packaging that protects it. We have developed a specialist elbow printhead for the egg industry, which provides top-side printing of the eggs even in cases where the conditions in the egg sorting machine are very cramped.
We offer all producers a complete hardware and software solution, including FDA and EU-compliant food-grade inks, special egg shell inks, the optional IP-65 protection class for protection against dust and spraying water as well as the automated Sealtronic nozzle seal (integrated by default) to prevent ink from drying out in the printhead.
Legislation involving egg marking and coding can be complex. The European Union (EU) requires that they be marked directly with a producer code. In the US, the LOT number must be printed onto the carton or directly onto the shell. Markings on the packaging are required in Canada as well. The import and export regulations of some countries also require codes.
With a DOCOD inkjet printer – powered by our printer software applications – you are able to comply with minimum disruption to your production. Designed to be easy to use, they operate at high speed providing excellent legibility on packaging or on eggshells of any colour. We also know that egg packaging can use a number of different materials and offer solutions that print effectively onto cardboard/carton, plastic, shrink wrap, foam or of course onto the eggshell itself.
Powerful software makes it easy to change text when required and the DOCOD service network means we can provide training, servicing and spare parts quickly wherever you are located.
On every egg you will find a red code, which tells you where it is from. The first number in the code is a 0, 1, 2 or 3, and it tells us which laying system the egg comes from.
● 0 = Organic egg production
● 1 = Free range eggs
● 2 = Indoor
● 3 = Furnished cages
The letters stand for the country in which the eggs were laid. BE is the code for Belgium and NL is the code for the Netherlands.
The last four numbers stand for the farm to which the egg-laying hens belong. An extra letter or number is added if there are several coops in the farm containing hens of different ages.
This way, you know exactly where the hen that laid your egg is from, and in what sort of environment it lives.