Scientific Provenance Verification

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Noun: The earliest place of origin.


We bring a unique forensic-based understanding of global supply chains and expertise in chemical profiling to address challenges of credibility, trust and provenance verification for modern supply chains.

Our scientific provenance verification service provides clients with the ability to verify the provenance of their products via physical scientific analysis to mitigate risk, validate digital data, protect their brand and move toward transparency within their supply chains.

What is provenance verification technology?

TSW Trace®  is the name of our proprietary provenance verification technology, which is our scientific process for determining the provenance, or origin, of a product.


Whether an item is natural or man-made, its chemical composition represents where it is from and how it may have been produced. Animals absorb these elements and molecules through the process of eating, plants through nutrient uptake, and minerals and stones through mineralising events.  

Robust and proven technology


Pioneered by SCI Chief Scientist Dr R. John Watling, the technology brings together almost 40 years of research and application across various disciplines.


The method is routinely employed as a forensic tool and delivered by our Forensic Science Services team who, combined, have over 60 years of advanced research and forensic casework experience and are world leaders in provenance science. ​

Video Credit: © Western Australia Police Force 2020

Sidney Cityscape

The necessity of science

Modern supply chains are increasingly complex and truly global. The demand is growing for better quality assurance systems to manage the compliance, heightened risk of contamination, product recall and the damage to business and brand reputation.
Scientific provenance verification provides an impartial scientific foundation to chain of custody data, traceability solutions and third party audits that collectively build confidence in the supply chains that carry promises to consumers.

A unique chemical fingerprint

From seafood, eggs and dairy, to diamonds, metals and minerals, TSW Trace® analyses a physical sample of a product to determine its unique combination chemicals, molecules, elements and isotopes that were imprinted on it via its geographical origin.


The result of this analysis is a chemical fingerprint entirely unique to and representative of that product's provenance. The fingerprint is stored in a secure Provenance Database that can be cross referenced with in-market samples to verify authenticity of product originating from that provenance and moving throughout  the supply chain.

Precision of provenance

As the pioneers of provenance science and the associated analytical methods that are needed to deliver it, we are able to profile samples to a level of precision that is hard for our competitors. While other service providers can identify the country or region of origin, we pinpoint the location of origin down to a farm, fishery, pond, plantation, kimberlite pipe or mine.

Consumers make purchasing decisions on the value claims associated with food and products – organic, sustainable, free range, ethical – and these values are implemented at that discrete level of production, making it so important to have a technology in place that can identify it. 

Who do we work with?

TSW Trace®  is capable of analysing and determining a chemical fingerprint for almost any product across a multitude of industries, and we design programs for individual producers through to industry wide representative groups like Australian Wild and Farmed Prawns and the Australian Barramundi Farmers Association.

Independent to labelling and digital systems.

Our scientific provenance approach involves analysis of the physical product and thus is independent of packaging and label claims. Independence makes it possible for us to complete surveillance in the marketplace and determine a product’s provenance without associated documentation or digital traceability.


Our programs are designed to run concurrently to paper based, digital or Blockchain traceability systems.