The presence of QR Codes is now well established, something we are completely used to.
We meet them sitting at the bar table before ordering, as a means of obtaining "additional information"; we exploit them automatically, without even realizing it. One should therefore expect a jump forward, a new introduction that can change things.
The novelty comes from South Korea, where a group of biomedical engineers has invented a spectacular edible QR Code.
The team of experts is divided in half between personalities operating in the Purdue University and in the National Institute of Agricultural Sciences, known for their versatility and knowledge of biomedical. The aim of the project is to build a tool capable of verifying the authenticity of high quality spirits, even recognizing certain pharmaceutical products.
Let's find out more.
The QR Code against counterfeit drinks
The project of the engineering team combines knowledge of technology and biomedical, creating a more than impressive mix.
The QR Code is fully fluorescent and is made of silk. The customer can place it inside the drink and scan it with the smartphone camera, obtaining important information about the contents of the drink. The code reveals the presence - or absence - of foreign substances, which should not appear inside the liquid.
For the production of the tags, fluorescent silk was used, coming from the cocoons of specialized silkworms. The biopolymer obtained allows to obtain useful information on the liquid content.
Despite the doubts, qr code is completely edible and can be ingested with the drink. At the same time, they do not have a real flavor and do not affect the taste.
I have my doubts
The research was featured in the journal ACS Central Science, shown to the public as a useful tool to "protect consumers".
According to the team, leading brands of whiskey and quality spirits could start exploiting the code to give their products an edge by proving the authenticity of the ingredients. In the future, the team does not rule out the possibility of transforming QR codes into useful tools to counter the forgery of drugs.
As Young Kim, an associate professor at Purdue's Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering reminds us:
“Online pharmacies sell uncontrolled substances to teenagers. People can easily buy counterfeit opioids. This work is extremely important to patients and purchasers in addressing this problem "
What do you think of the edible QR Code? Good idea or ambition? Let us know on the Futuro Prossimo social channels!