What are taggants?
Taggants are materials that release light when exposed to a determined wavelength. They are often used in counter-fraud technologies, but we use it to make invisible antimicrobial technology visible. It consists of micro-colour code particles, which are invisible to the naked eye without the use of a fluorescent detector. The micro-colour code particles act as a fingerprint for the antimicrobial additive in a product, providing clients with the guarantee that the antimicrobial technology is integrated. It also provides protection from fraud and piracy as products can be clearly identified. The micro-colour code particles are so small that they can only be detected under a microscope and would require specialist equipment to be altered or replicated.
By incorporating a taggant into BioCote® additives, it gives a quick and easy visual that our additive is effectively working in your product to keep it protected from microbes. This will not change the look or feel of your product, and they are only detectable with a specific taggant detector, which is also supplied by BioCote®.
The benefits of taggants & taggant detectors
While the advantages of antimicrobial technology are obvious, and the process of making materials antimicrobial is a well-defined multi-step process, it can be difficult for the end user to ‘see’ that the technology is indeed integrated into products and that it is working effectively. In addition to our antimicrobial additives, BioCote® offers a separate ‘taggant’ additive accompanied by a taggant detector. This high-level, materials-security technology assists our clients in showing antimicrobial presence in their products and in communicating why their customers should care about choosing a protected product over an unprotected one. In addition to this, border control systems have also used taggant scanners to test for the presence of taggants, protecting products from threats of counterfeiting and fraud.
- Allows to demonstrate antimicrobial presence in protected products.
- A taggant detector – a small hand-held device – will give off a fluorescent signal when shone on the product.
- Customers can be assured that a product comes with proven antimicrobial performance in a way that is both visible and clear.
- By identifying genuine goods and quickly spotting counterfeit ones, taggant technology protects the credibility of your brand.
The manufacturing process is the same as incorporating an antimicrobial additive, and the performance of the antimicrobial technology remains unchanged. The taggant simply gives the antimicrobial product its own identifiable marker. When a taggant is present, it can be picked up with a detector, a small hand-held device, which gives off either an acoustic or fluorescent signal. Since the only source of taggants is from the antimicrobial additive, the proof of their presence is synonymous with the presence of antimicrobial technology.
Over the last couple of years, counterfeit products have transformed from a minor issue to being part of a major worldwide industry that affects all businesses, big and small, in a variety of sectors. To combat counterfeiting, it takes more than just creating covert markings, systems, or a single brand security function. What’s needed is a multi-layered strategy that uses several tactics and involves the entire company. In certain niche markets, such as those for designer handbags or jewellery, counterfeit goods are widely recognised as a concern. Unsurprisingly, products with in-built antimicrobial protection can fall prey to counterfeiting just as much.
Not only does a taggant provide a confirmation that antimicrobial additives are present within a product, but it can also provide legal protection in cases of product liability. Courts have been shown to allow its use as decisive evidence in such cases.