Coming Soon: Barcodes on Your Food and Medicine.

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Counterfeit drugs. Fake Kobe beef. Cheap, unauthentic vape pods full of toxic fillers. You don’t think about it, but things that you eat, drink, or take for your health are faked every day. Enter TruTag Technologies. Working with an edible silica, they’ve discovered a way to place barcodes in the food and drugs themselves.

Unlike a traditional barcode, these are hyper-spectral. They work with light in both the visible and unseen spectrum. This means that they contain much more information for their size than a traditional code would. They could be used to store manufacturing data, lot numbers, packing dates and more — right on pills or meat.

Are counterfeits really that big a problem?

False medications have been around as long as pharmacists. Probably longer. The difference today is that while traditional snake oil didn’t work, these days it can kill. Pain killers laced with Fentanyl analogues have killed hundreds of people in the United States in the past few years. Many of them were persons with chronic pain whose prescription ran out early. Some of these fake pills were even purchased from real pharmacies. Microscopic barcodes in the medications could go a long way toward stemming the tide.

The phrase “counterfeit meat” sounds almost funny, until you learn more about it. Rats passed off as chicken, beef as Halal lamb, or even cat meat sold as mutton. All of these things and more have been tried by unethical suppliers. Being able to label meat as soon as it is butchered would go a long way to abate the fakes.

For that matter, counterfeit vape pods have caused a lot of issues so far this year. Several US states even tried to ban vaping all together after sketchy vape pods containing vitamin E acetate and hydrogen cyanide caused several deaths. A vape pen which only works with authenticated cartridges seems a bit like my Keurig, but would we rather have DRM on a vape or kids dying.

We here at Xcentech Computers love to hear about new tech. Even when it’s sometimes hard to see a use . This tech? More useful than it first seemed. Barcodes on your dinner may be the way of the future.


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