Procter & Gamble patents counterfeit detection kit

P&G_logo_squareConsumer product giant Procter & Gamble has been awarded a US patent on a chemical test kit that could be used to detect counterfeit versions of its products.

The kit - described in US Patent No. 8,703,068 - "includes a plurality of test protocols to determine the presence or absence of one or more active component, diluent component, and/or preservative component in a consumer product."

Popular consumer products are common targets for counterfeiters, and P&G estimates that approximately 2-3 per cent of all fast moving consumer goods (FMCGs) sold worldwide are counterfeit.

"To various large companies, this can represent millions to billions of dollars of lost sales every year," says the patent, which notes that while manufacturers actively try to detect and remove fake products from the market it can be hard to identify illicit copies, particularly for customs or other enforcement officials.

Typically, the authenticity of FMCG shipments is carried out using simple visual assessment, but if this is inconclusive samples need to be sent to a laboratory for more complex analytical tests such as nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, infrared (IR) spectroscopy, mass spectrometry, X-ray fluorescence and conventional microscopy techniques. This sometimes takes between five and 10 days to carry out and can be expensive.

"There is a need for a portable on-site kit for testing consumer products to determine their authenticity," says the patent, which notes the kit can be used in customs warehouses, retail outlets, wholesalers, manufacturing plants or "even a consumer's home."

Active substances which could be tested using the kit include zinc pyrithione or ammonium ions in shampoo products or niacinamide in anti-inflammatory skin creams.

Related articles:

     Want our news sent directly to your inbox?

Yes please 2


Home  |  About us  |  Contact us  |  Advertise  |  Links  |  Partners  |  Privacy Policy  |   |  RSS feed   |  back to top