Applied DNA Sciences’ hangtag and motto.

Traceability solutions are gaining traction among brands and retailers aiming to meet increased consumer demands for product transparency and authenticity. And companies like Applied DNA Sciences, a New York-based molecular technology firm, are making strides in supply chain protection through its proprietary solutions that are built to ensure the quality and integrity of products.

The firm’s SigNature DNA, the core of its product offerings, is a molecular tag that can be embedded into raw materials or applied to the surface of a range of objects, including currencies, pharmaceuticals, electronics, packaging and even fine art. Intended to authenticate product claims, molecular tagging can be customized and incorporated into products at any point in the lifecycle or supply chain. Each unique tag or “taggant” could be likened to a fingerprint.

MeiLin Wan, the vice president of Applied DNA Sciences, told WWD that Applied DNA’s technology “is unique because it’s a DNA molecule that is applied onto textile materials like cotton fiber, recycled PET pellets, or specialty coatings and gives identity and provenance to the product. By applying the molecular tag at the point of origin, you know the exact date, time, place and who created the material. This is revolutionary because we can verify the original fiber when it is made into yarn, woven into fabric and made into finished goods.”

Wan continued, “DNA certificates through tagging can do what paper documents cannot, which is to preserve the identity and integrity of the original material from source to shelf. Even better, we can offer portable DNA testing devices, about the size of a small coffee can, that can do a relatively fast authentication in the field.”

And the firm says its platform is differentiated among traceability solutions in the market because “every DNA molecule is unique and cannot be copied. Applied DNA can tag millions of fibers and test at every stage of the supply chain. No other taggant has the scientific or forensic strength of DNA analysis,” Wan told WWD.

Applied DNA signed a Research Agreement with BLC Leather Technology Centre earlier this year, which aims to provide verifiable leather traceability from farm to finished products, the company said. Additional projects include expansion of its applications in virgin and recycled PET in home and apparel and automotive uses such as brake pads. “We will be actively working on printable anticounterfeiting solutions for textile packages and labeling as well,” Wan said.

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