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Customer Spotlight: Counterfeit Protection with Plant DNA

If you’re anything like us, you’ve gone through a phase in your life—or several—where you get hooked on the never-ending TV marathons of CSI, Law and Order, Criminal Minds, NCIS… the list goes on and on! And once you’ve entertained your inner desire to be a crime scene detective, you believe you could easily be on your local force and bring down any criminal in your path! Well! Those lab techs are in for a real treat, if you ask us!

There are new developments that will make being a “smooth, cagey criminal” not so easy anymore! Imagine something that provides the HIGHEST level of security―something impossible to replicate―that could only be detected by experts and will make marking, tracking, and convicting criminals as simple as counting one, two, three!

Green plant leaves What we are talking about is a pretty unbelievable process that applies a form of science using strands of DNA to mark and authenticate valuables. It’s not as scary or strange as you may be imagining though! The type of patented DNA sequencing we are talking about uses botanical (plant) DNA which is isolated in a lab and then segmented into numerous pieces that are scrambled and reassembled with extra layers of protection to form a uniquely-encoded DNA marker! Just like human DNA will indicate unique qualities, plant DNA is one-of-a-kind, and the special reformatting makes it even harder to replicate. Isn’t that amazing?!

Moreover, these plant DNA sequences can be easily embedded into a wide variety of carriers such as inks, varnishes, threads, laminates, metal coatings, etc. That’s where EIM comes in! Since these DNA markers can be customized, we are able to offer labels unique to our customers’ products or documents with a whole new level of protection!

This DNA sequencing uses impenetrable taggants that can be mixed into any of our aqueous (water-based) inks. These specially formulated inks can then be applied to a wide variety of our label materials, offering safe solutions to your most challenging tamper-evident applications. Oh, and don’t worry; we’ve run tests and examined the labels ourselves. There is no way you could possibly tell that the DNA ink is any different from our other inks!

Now just take a moment to think about all the types of products out there that could benefit from this… DNA already has a forensic background, so it’s logical to use it for law enforcement to connect criminals to robberies at banks or retail stores using special alarm systems and money to track the culprits. Then there’s brand protection in such items as textiles and apparel, electronics and all sorts of packaging for expensive items like jewelry or cosmetics. It can also be used in passports and drivers’ licenses as well as other important government documents. Counterfeiting is one of the most prevalent types of crime we face today; it affects not only financial conditions for businesses, but also our general health and safety.

We’re sure you’re all wondering what the verification process is like. It’s not as complicated as you may think. Granted, these aren’t the type of security labels you’re going to give to your children to put on their toys that may be stolen at the playground. The DNA embedded ink is swabbed with a sample kit (much like the DNA swab samples taken by a crime investigator) and sent off to a lab for validation. It’s a very simple process and can’t be copied!

Electronic Imaging Materials