Protecting olive oil from counterfeiters

06 June 2014

Who guarantees that olive oil isn't counterfeit or adulterated? An invisible label, developed by researchers at ETH Zurich in Switzerland, could perform this task. The tag consists of tiny magnetic DNA particles encapsulated in a silica casing and mixed with the oil.
Just a few grams of the substance are enough to tag the entire olive oil production of Italy. If counterfeiting were suspected, the particles added at the place of origin could be extracted from the oil and analysed, enabling a definitive identification of the producer. The method is equivalent to a label that cannot be removed. An article about the research is published in ACS Nano (News Item ETH Zurich, 24 April 2014).
Click here for the news item.
Click here for an abstract of the published article.

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