Marie Donlon | June 21, 2022

To prevent the counterfeiting of alcohol, researchers from Purdue University are working to develop an edible fluorescent silk tag featuring a QR code to authenticate whiskey.

Placed inside a shot of whiskey, the edible QR code tag could be scanned by a smartphone to confirm the authenticity of the whiskey and other alcoholic spirits, which are vulnerable to counterfeiting.

Source: Purdue UniversitySource: Purdue University

According to the Purdue team, the QR code on the fluorescent silk tag is imperceptible to the unaided eye. Likewise, the tags are also edible and do not affect the taste of the whiskey.

To create the tags, the researchers processed fluorescent silk cocoons from silkworms to produce a biopolymer that can be manipulated into assorted patterns for encoding the information.

In addition to authenticating alcohol, the researchers suggest the tags could also confirm the authenticity of pharmaceuticals.

The study, Edible Matrix Code with Photogenic Silk Proteins, appears in the journal ACS Central Science.