Much worse than a counterfeit 2N3055…

November 23, 2015 | 14:25
After semiconductors, TruTag will reveal counterfeit medication and food
After semiconductors, TruTag will reveal counterfeit medication and food
... is fake medication and food. Fake pharmaceuticals have been found to contain chalk, brick dust, paint, pesticides, and even traces of human fetuses. The fakes, taken together with substandard meds, cause upwards of 100,000 deaths annually.
Honolulu-based startup TruTag Technologies who kicked off with ID-ing semiconductor devices in a bid to authenticate products and so protect customers against forgeries, recently brought to market edible bar codes that can be integrated directly into both edible and non-edible products. These TruTags are the size of a dust speck and thinner than a strand of hair. “A gram of TruTag microparticles contains over 12 million unique tags,” says the company’s president, Kent Mansfield.
TruTags are made entirely of silicon dioxide, also called silica, a compound that is inert, edible, and incredibly durable (with an infinite shelf life and the ability to survive temperatures up to 1,000 degrees C). To manufacture the minute tags, the company etches microscopic bar codes into silica wafers using equipment similar to the semiconductor industry’s. The engraved wafers are then ground into a white powder that can be mixed directly into foodstuffs like baby formula or incorporated into the coatings of pills. Even non-edible goods — car parts and cell phone components—could make use of the safe-to-eat tags.
Once items are marked with a few specks of the coded dust, companies use special scanners to send decoded information to iPads or iPhones, revealing details like where and when the product was manufactured. If all goes well, TruTag plans to make its technology available at the consumer level.
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