An innovative anti-counterfeiting technology for the food and beverage labelling industry was released this month (September) at Label Expo 2018 in Chicago and concurrently in South Africa. This technology is quantum dots. Upon order, it will be available for distribution throughout Africa.
An example of the quantum dots technology
Quantum dots are metal based nanoparticles with semi-conductive properties, absorbing light in the UV spectrum and visibly emitting it. They’re made up of inorganic elements, such as Indium, Graphene or Perovskite and range between two and 10 nanometres in size.
The quantum dot printed security codes are impossible to replicate with normal printing because the non-homogenous embedded colour code will be unreadable. Commonly used 2D security options like QR codes and barcodes are composed of single colour matrices with each pixel representing one bit of information. Such elements can be coded with up to 2 953 bits, which is approximately one page of printed information.
This exciting new technology from IQDEMY enables multilayer expanded coding, especially with QR codes, using multiple colours. Using only four colours, it offers up to 4.3 billion unique and almost impossible to counterfeit variants.
Quantum dot printed security marks are invisible under normal conditions and can be transparent, like spot varnish. This technology can be used to print on almost any substrate, using UV varnish or a water-based solution as the carrier. These codes have been tested in laboratory conditions to withstand high temperatures without changes occurring to their structure or features. This endurance makes the technology compatible with lamination. The codes also maintain their colour for up to 10 years and are highly resistant to external chemical impact.
Despite the advanced technology, quantum dot technology is surprisingly affordable with a one centimetre by one centimetre spot code using UV lacquer as the carrier. The value it will add to product protection is impressive. Products can easily be authenticated using UV flashlights with or without photodetectors or spectrophotometers connected to computers and software.
Consumers can easily verify the authenticity of their product purchase while manufacturers can track products through all stages of the supply chain which makes it easy to check up on distributors and retailers. It also offers manufacturers complete information about the life cycle of their products. Product data and distribution are effectively protected by the IQDEMY blockchain system using this technology.
The South African launch of quantum dot technology by NSI 4 Africa will be concurrent with the scheduled global release. This means food and beverage companies throughout Africa will have access to the advanced authentication system at the same time as their counterparts in Europe and the USA.