Banknote security transformed for food safety

By George Reynolds

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Security

Cutting-edge technology could slash counterfeiting and tampering
risks as ArjoWiggins, a leading banknote manufacturer, branches
into food security and brand protection.

The French-based firm, responsible for producing the folding currency of over 130 countries, has used its established security measures to produce five products aimed at manufacturing sectors wrestling with the rise in fake goods, tampering scares, and legislative requirements.

The latest EU customs statistics indicate that food counterfeiting and piracy continues to be a growing threat in Europe. In 2005, EU customs seized more than 75 million counterfeited and pirated goods.

Foodstuffs, medicines and other goods that can seriously damage the health of consumers continue to be faked in large quantities. A record five million counterfeit foodstuff, drinks and alcohol products were seized at the EU's borders in 2005.

ArjoWiggins says it has developed a synthetic tamper evident substrate (STES) which combines anti-tampering safety with authentication features. The product is made of delaminate the biaxially oriented film of high density polyethylene, which is fragile to tampering, claims the company.

A tampering attempt will delaminate the face stock, rendering re-positioning and re-using impossible, the manufacturer claims.

Another ArjoWiggins product is a bimetal foil, which can be used for quick identification by industry agents and consumers. The bimetal, made up of combination of copper, aluminum or gold, makes reproduction difficult, the company claims.

Another product with possible food applications is the covert Spot Tag, which is a taggant mixed with ink or a standard varnish and which is printable on any substrate.

The printed spot cannot be reproduced and its authentication can only be detected using a secret frequency from dedicated electronic reader, the company claims. The taggant is added at the printing process of labels so production is not disrupted, and integrated.

The company also produces Tag Spheres, which have the same properties as Spot Tags, but the microspheres are incorporated inside the paper, as opposed to ink.

Securepack is another product offered by the company. The product allows packagers using board to choose the level of security they wish to use protecting a product.

The security feature, embedded while the board is still in the pulp stage, can be level one, which is visible to the naked eye. At level two the feature requires a ultra violet lamp to detect the security. A level three Securepack is detectable using a dedicated reader.

The company claims the embedded security will remain unchanged even when coated.

Food tampering and its most dangerous manifestation, bioterrorism have forced companies to implement track and trace measures for their products.

An additional benefit of increased security is improved traceability of products. This can provide companies with valuable information on the exact movements of their goods and also facilitate a more controlled product recall following food scares.

Luxury products at the high end of the market, including champagne and spirits have led the way using elaborate packaging to prevent forgery.

Related topics: Processing & Packaging

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