AUSTRALIA: BRL Hardy turns to DNA in fight against fraud
The move comes after growing concerns from the trade and wine-buying public after a series of high-profile fraud cases in the last 12 months. The Australian industry was most-famously rocked in 1998 when fake bottles of the country's leading premium wine Penfolds Grange were discovered.
BRL Hardy is to implement its new technology on its leading premium brand Eileen Hardy, which can command as much as $250 a bottle.
The brand will see vine DNA impregnated into light-reflective printing ink, which is then applied to a specially designed tamperproof neck label that will seal the bottle.
BRL Hardy Europe's chief executive Christopher Carson said today: "We believe that this industry leading initiative will be welcomed by all and give further assurance to the consumer. Wine has become a very popular investment stock and this development will ensure that we eliminate the risk of fraud and counterfeiting in our industry."
The refraction of light from the DNA enhanced ink can be measured by an electronic hand held scanner and the ink itself tested for the presence of the vine DNA to ensure authenticity.
If the bottle is counterfeit or has been tampered with in any way, it can easily be detected.
Hardy said security measures to authenticate stock would include random and pre-sale checks at auction houses and at wine retailers. Individual customer enquiries will be investigated on request, the company said.
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