LONDON — The Kellogg Co. in the United Kingdom said it has developed new technology that will allow it to use lasers to burn its logo onto individual corn flakes. The company said the move is an effort to distinguish its products from imitation flakes.
"In recent years there has been an increase in the number of own brands trying to capitalize on the popularity of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes," said Helen Lyons, lead food technologist for Kellogg. "We want shoppers to be under absolutely no illusion that Kellogg’s does not make cereal for anyone else. We’re constantly looking at new ways to reaffirm this and giving our golden flakes of corn an official stamp of approval could be the answer.
"We’ve established that it is possible to apply a logo or image onto food, now we need to see if there is a way of repeating it on large quantities of our cereal. We’re looking into it."
Kellogg said it now will produce a number of "one-off" trial batches of the branded flakes to test the system. If successful, the company then will consider including some branded flakes into each box to guarantee the cereal’s origins.
According to Kellogg, the system features a concentrated beam of light that is steered by mirror galvanometers to create multiple vectors that reflect the laser beam and help make up the image. The energy density within the laser spot diameter is sufficient enough to give the surface of the flake a darker, toasted appearance without changing the taste, Kellogg said.