Counterfeiters foiled with ‘chemical barcode’

A new Australian technology is leading the way in the secure authentication and identification of commercial and bulk products.

A new Australian technology – known as DataTraceDNA – is leading the way in the secure authentication and identification of commercial and bulk products.

DataTraceDNA incorporates unique patterns of indelible microparticles into the molecular structure of materials and products. The microparticles, invisible to the naked eye, can be easily read like a chemical barcode with a hand-held portable field reader.

The chemical barcode is enormously complex, making it extremely difficult for counterfeiters to reproduce. Additionally, as the technology is incorporated into the materials and products, it cannot be removed, masked or altered.

Developed by CSIRO Molecular and Health Technologies and DataDot Technology, DataTrace DNA has applications in process and logistics control, inventory control, quality control, and for establishing the authenticity of products and materials.

The technology has proved so promising that CSIRO and DataDot have formed a 50/50 joint venture company, DataTraceDNA, to market and further develop DataTraceDNA.

The new company is initially focusing on incorporating the technology into cement, timber, explosives, adhesives, paint, packaging, polymers, chemicals and pharmaceutical packaging.

“The enormous advantage of DataTraceDNA over currently available products is that it is chemically inert, tough enough to survive harsh environmental conditions and can be easily read without requiring chemical reactions,” says Dr. Geoff Houston, CSIRO Molecular and Health Technologies’ Commercial Manager. “By infusing DataTraceDNA into explosives for example, individual batches can be identified and their movement can be tracked.”