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Banana Books, Book Reviews, & Other Reading Material This forum is the book review forum. Share with your peers your thoughts on what you've read, and also share your thoughts of what your considering reading. Please also use this forum to share links to banana research and reading material on the web.

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Old 09-09-2009, 07:19 PM   #1 (permalink)
SoBe Musa's Avatar
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Default What's in a PLU?

I found this article in the net :
Link : What's in a PLU?"
What's in a PLU?

Ever curious about what those number and letter codes are on bananas? The PLU system or "Price-Look-Up" system widely used in the United States provides an industry wide standardized set of numbers that allows easy identification of fruit and other produce items. Developed by the Produce Marketing Association, it provides the check-out clerk with a product data base that may be a simple paper copy, or a cash-register or computer based list. PLU's, to date, are seen on only a few brands in Europe, but similar systems, often with their own codes, have been noted in a number of countries, including Australia, Brazil, and Mexico. Some banana companies have also used a letter code on their labels in lieu of a country of origin name. These will be considered below.

Below is a brief outline of the various banana-related PLU's,
with brief consideration of the fruit itself.

4011 BANANAS: Yellow - standard Cavenish bananas.
4186 BANANAS: Yellow, Small - denotes smaller sized fruit.
4229 BANANAS: Burro - a flattish fruit from Mexico; also known as a Pera or Sabah banana.
4230 BANANAS: Dominico - a small variety from Mexico, but often referred to by the 4234 code.

4231 BANANAS: Green - some stores offer unripened green Cavendish fruit and price it differently than 4011 bananas.
4232 BANANAS: Leaves - come both fresh and frozen and are popular for wraping tamales and other trop[ical dishes.
4233 BANANAS: Manzano/Apple - a small, distinctively different fruit with an apple-like flavor. Best eaten when very ripe.
4234 BANANAS: Nino or Baby Banana - a group of small bananas known for their sweet, sugary flavor. Sometimes called Ladyfingers, Goldfingers, or Oroitos. Dominicos (4230 above] are often classified with this grouping.
4235 BANANAS: Plaintain/Macho - hard fruit which most be cooked for consumption. A popular banana in many tropical areas.
4236 BANANAS: Red - known as Morados or Macaboo bananas, these bananas have a musky taste.

4237 BANANAS: Retailer Assigned - usually Cavendish fruit, sometimes of smaller size. Some dealers sell both 4011 and 4237 (or 4238) fruit, asking a lower price for the 4237 produce.
4238 BANANAS: Retailer Assigned - same.
3287 BANANAS: Hawaiian Plantain - the newest code to join the list, these short, stubby cooking bananas are grown in Florida and Hawaii and imported in small numbers from Guatemala.
94011 BANANAS: Yellow Organic - any PLU with a "9" added in front of the number is Organic, and subject to strict industry and government standards of production.

Country Codes

When United Fruit Co. first started using labels they generally carried the country of origin. By the 1970's it was increasingly common to see only the Chiquita name, and no reference to place. There were some exceptions, like Ecuador, which had government export regulations requiring the name. Eventually country or place codes were introduced, but these were for industry use and not for the public. Not all the codes were in use at any given time, and in some cases the codes changed. Perhaps the most interesting example was the "U" for Guatemala, which was changed to a "W" because to Orthodox Jews the "U" symbol means Kosher.

With the 21st Century, we have returned to country names. Costa Rica recently joined the list of banana exporters requiring it. And Chiquita is once again placing the country name on most of its bananas. Dole waivered toward generic labels, and also briefly used country codes, but for the most part stayed with the country name. Del Monte also focused on generic labels, but in some cases used country codes as well. The recent passage of legislation in the U.S. will eventually require country of origin on all imports, including bananas, and we have already seen changes to comply with this law.


A - Panama
B - Belize
C - Colombia (Turbo)
D - Philippines (Davao)
E - Ecuador (usually spelled out)
G - Costa Rica (Golfito)
H - Honduras
J - Nicaragua
K - Cameroon
L - Costa Rica (Limon)
M - Mexico
N - Canary Islands
P - Panama
Q - Martinique
R - Dominican Republic
S - Suriname
T - Colombia (Santa Marta)
U - Guatemala
V - Ivory Coast
W - Guatemala (replaced the U)
X - Costa Rica (Sixaola)


B - Brasil
C - Colombia
E - Ecuador (usually spelled out)
G- Guatemala
M - Mexico
P - Panama
R - Costa Rica


C - Costa Rica
H - Honduras
S - Colombia (Sta Marta)
T - Colombia (Turbo)

4235 BANANAS: Plaintain/Macho - hard fruit which most be cooked for consumption. A popular banana in many tropical areas.
Picture purchased Set/09/2009 in Miami Beach,Fl


Last edited by SoBe Musa : 09-09-2009 at 08:09 PM.
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