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What is scientific provenance verification?

TSW Trace® is the name of our proprietary provenance verification solution, 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 trace elements, isotopes, chemicals and molecules through the process of eating, plants through nutrient uptake, and minerals and stones during mineralising events. We use this information to create a unique reference chemical fingerprint for the product and its matching location of origin. This fingerprint allows us to verify a product back to a specific point of origin from any point in the supply chain – its provenance.

Robust and proven technology

Pioneered by Source Certain’s Chief Scientist Dr R John Watling, the technology brings together 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 have over 100 years of combined advanced research and forensic casework experience and are world leaders in the forensic and provenance science field.

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 of 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. We store the fingerprint in a secure Provenance Database that can be cross-referenced with in-market samples to verify the origin of the product.

Our level of precision

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. As the pioneers of provenance science and the associated analytical methods needed to deliver it, we can profile samples to a level of precision that is hard for our competitors.  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 important to have a solution in place that can verify it.

Explore the challenges faced by each sector

We work a number of sectors with defined needs for provenance science services.

  • Seafood
  • Critical and strategic minerals
  • Eggs
  • Forestry
  • Gold and diamonds
  • Meat
  • Horticulture
  • Wine
  • Cannabis

Talk to one of our experts

Whether your enquiry is about a service we offer, a request for more information about our technologies or you would like to know more about our company or team, please call or send us a message.

There will always be a connection

– no matter how far, how small, how unlikely.

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