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Technology

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BioTags : Complete supply chain transparency. From seed to fork, and beyond.

Our technology employs nature’s own information storage molecule, DNA, to create a stable, biological ID label, we call a BioTag.

We use brewer’s yeast as a microscopic carrier for our BioTags. This yeast encapsulated BioTag, exhibits phenomenal stability over long periods of time and under harsh environmental conditions. BioTags can be added in trace amounts to any product, at any point in the supply chain, enabling safe, reliable, end-to-end supply chain transparency.

We also use the brewers yeast to “grow” our BioTags in a low-cost, scalable fermentation process.  This allows us to easily make large amounts of BioTag that can be added to any size production lot to have the BioTag stably persist in trace amounts from beginning to end.

Digital Registry

Every BioTag includes a unique identifying sequence. These identifiers are stored in Trailhead, Index’s BioTag digital registry. BioTag registry entries contain data related to its manufacturing, client and intended use, including any additional information that may be relevant to the value chain.

Detection

BioTags are designed to be rapidly detectable in trace amounts.  Detection options include both standard lab techniques and/or in-field detection kits, which require minimal equipment and expertise.

Let your product tell the story.

Frequently asked questions

Yeast are a group of single celled organism found throughout the environment.  Saccharomyces cerevisiae also known as brewer’s yeast or baker’s yeast is a species of yeast that has been used for thousands of years to make bread, beer, and wine among other food products.  As an ingredient, additive or processing aid, yeast is a commonly used food and feed input with a long history across many industries.

Yeast production techniques are well understood and easily scalable, allowing for efficient and inexpensive production. With yeast already a commonly used product throughout the food system, Index’s BioTags are designed for seamless integration into production pipelines. Furthermore, in comparison to naked DNA barcode solutions, the structural features and inherent natural defences of the yeast cell serve as an amazing protective capsule for our identifiers. The result – a safe, easily scalable, reliably and uniquely traceable product.

A BioTag is a small, inert and unique sequence of DNA.  Our BioTags are safely added to an organism solely for the purpose of traceability and identification.

BioTag-carrying yeast cells can be added, mixed, sprayed or affixed to any product that can benefit from end-to-end supply chain biological traceability and identification. Unique BioTags can even be applied at multiple nodes along a supply chain or within subsections of a lot or component of a product.  This flexibility of spatial and temporal granularity of where and when BioTags can be incorporated, lets the BioTag tell story of a product’s origin and journey from beginning to end.

Traditional traceability technologies tend to be incorporated into non-biological components of a product, such as a label, sticker, printable surface or affixed to a container that holds a product. They have their place; however when the goal is to trace, differentiate or segregate food system products, these solutions miss the mark. These traditional technologies can not be processed, consumed, and in many instances, are not biodegradable. Food system products require a customizable biological traceability solution.

  • Food safety: BioTags applied to a head of romaine lettuce could provide rapid source-of-origin information (ex. Growing region, grower, specific farm location, harvest date, etc.) in the event of an E.Coli outbreak greatly reducing time and scope of recalls.
  • Fraud Prevention: BioTags can be added in trace to products at high risk of adulteration (ex. Olive oil, honey, wine, seeds, etc.) to provide investigators definitive evidence of infringement but also provide detailed batch level information on the source of any breech.
  • Certification: BioTags can be applied to products requiring identification guarantees regarding country of origin, GMO status or ethical sourcing.
  • Branding/IP Protection: BioTags can be applied at batch levels. This may provide intellectual property owners with definitive evidence of infringement. Consider an IP infringement investigation, detecting the BioTag, and learning that the identified product was only intended to be used by a particular customer for some time period. Cost recovery suddenly becomes much more simple.

BioTags are detectable in trace amounts. Standard lab techniques and infield detection kit options are available.

Every BioTag includes a unique identifying sequence. These identifiers are stored in Trailhead, Index’s BioTag digital registry. BioTag registry entries contain data related to its manufacturing, client and intended use, including any additional information that may be relevant to the value chain.