In a move aimed at increasing its footprint in this area, the company haspurchased an equity stake andmarketing agreement with identif of Erlangen, Germany, which has extensive experience in this field.
DuPont says its aims are to prevent counterfeit products, minimise the risk such goods pose to consumers, facilitate the identification of counterfeit goods, protect brand integrity and avoid unnecessary goods associated with large scale packaging security problems.
"We believe that DuPont's scientific and technical expertise positions us as aleader in providing security solutions for the global packaging industry," said VolkerPlehn, director, DuPont Packaging & Industrial Polymers - Security and Solutionsbusiness. "Recent strategic business initiatives reflect this direction and we will continueon that path."
The counterfeiting and security of food and beverage products has been posing increasingly greater problems for the industry in recent years. The threat of food terrorism attacks, counterfeiting and piracy have all been on the rise, causing manufacturers to up the security of packaging.
In the EU the problem of counterfeiting is proving to be an increasingly challenging problem to tackle. Between 2002 and 2003, the incidence of counterfeit food products increased 77 per cent, with the European Commission declaring that confectionery, bakery and a range of other leading branded goods were all high up on the list.
Overall, customs officials seized almost 100 million articles in 2003 compared with 85 million in 2002, worth an estimated value of €1 billion.
Food and packaging firms are beginning to take action in order to stem this trend. There are now a number of products on the market designed to stop counterfeiting and protect brand-name products; Japan-based engineering firm Teikoku Piston Ring for example has developed a hologram identification label that it brings anti-counterfeiting packaging to new levels.
In addition, scientists from the University of Seville, Spain, have developed a method of finger-printing champagne, cava, and other wines to prevent cheaper products being passed off as the more expensive varieties. A recent article in New Scientist magazine said that tests were 100 per cent accurate in determining which of 35 samples were cava and which were champagne.
The 2003 statistics from the EU suggests that there is a growing market for such products. There was an overall 9 per cent increase in 2003 in the number of counterfeit and pirated goods seized by customs at the external borders of the EU - 100 million compared to 85 million in 2002. The number of cases involved in these seizures increased by almost 41 per cent.