Ebarcodes: micro barcodes for food and pharmaceuticals with integrated anticounterfeiting and sensory function

Themes: Life Science & Health, Materials

Early prototype

A TRL is a measure to indicate the matureness of a developing technology. When an innovative idea is discovered it is often not directly suitable for application. Usually such novel idea is subjected to further experimentation, testing and prototyping before it can be implemented. The image below shows how to read TRL’s to categorise the innovative ideas.

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To counter increasing trade in counterfeit and contaminated food products, edible labelling and sensing technologies that can be integrated into produce are required.


This natural polymer micro barcode integrates micro-scale methods for sculpturing particle form (counterfeiting) with molecular level chemical design (enabling microbiological sensory functions and biodegradability). Read-out is simple with a portable optical microscope attached to a cell phone.


Currently, model food products, intravenous solutions and solid oral formulations are successfully labelled with micro particles and the functionality of the sensors is demonstrated. Using 100% edible materials for production is the next challenge.

Dr. Burak Eral


Dr. Ivan Rehor

Eric Reza Safai BSc