Tackling counterfeit seeds with “unclonable” labels
The trade of counterfeit seeds can lead to significant agricultural losses and economic damage. MIT researchers, including principal investigator at the Abdul Latif Jameel Water and Food Systems Lab (J-WAFS), Benedetto Marelli, are working to develop "unclonable" labels that can distinguish authentic seeds from fake ones. Marelli and colleagues developed a technique to print labels that use multiple layers of inks with varying optical properties, making them difficult to replicate. The labels can be read using an application and have the potential to revolutionise seed authentication and traceability. Marelli's research projects, including those funded by J-WAFS, have developed new technologies to minimise food waste, enable agriculture in marginal lands, rapidly detect food contamination and precisely deliver payloads in plants.