Ginseng firm taps Nanotech Security for security labels

Falsified ginseng products have been a feature of the natural products market for years, and one Canadian producer has now taken steps to protect its brand from the fraudsters.

Canadian Vita has contracted Nanotech Security to supply colour-shifting labels with printed logos and trackable serial numbers for its ginseng products, to help its customers ensure they are buying the genuine product and not a counterfeit.

The company has positioned its ginseng products – which include ginseng roots, ginseng extract capsules and other products like ginseng infused honey – as a premium quality brand, offering high levels of compounds that have been linked to health benefits and low levels of pesticide residues and moisture.

In particular, it says testing has shown that ginsenoside levels in Panax quinquefolius from its growers in Ontario, Canada, approach 10 per cent, higher than samples from the US (at around 6-7 per cent) and China (5 to 8 per cent).

Prices of ginseng products vary widely based on the species, quality, and purity of the source material, and that has become a major driver for intentional adulteration.

Colour-shifting film: A proven, anti-counterfeiting solution for brand protection and product authentication

Lower quality ginseng can be mislabelled to pass it off as a premium product, or mixed with another type, for example, in order to maximise profit, defrauding customers and making it harder for honest suppliers and traders to operate in the market.

It can be hard to tell the difference between different ginsengs without laboratory testing, and even more so when the ginseng is processed into other forms like capsules.

A literature-based study published recently in the journal Frontiers in Pharmacology estimated that out of 507 ginseng-containing commercial herbal products sold across 12 countries, 76 per cent were authentic while 24per cent were reported as adulterated.

“Counterfeit ginseng products are a major industry problem that can be very harmful to consumers,” said Canadian Vita chief executive Hieu Tran.

“The labels will confirm Canadian Vita products are authentic and meet quality standards.”

Nanotech Security is providing Canadian Vita with custom LumaChrome colour-shifting labels, which have previously been deployed in government documents and banknotes and are increasingly being used to protect commercial products.

“This consumer-packaged goods win continues to validate our strategy of developing a portfolio of products to address the multi-billion-dollar problem of counterfeit consumer goods,” said Nanotech Security’s president and CEO Troy Bullock.

“We look forward to a long-running, successful partnership with Canadian Vita.”

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