Source Certain Lab Instrumentation

TSW Trace® is our proprietary scientific solution that underpins our provenance science services.

TSW Trace comprises methodologies, processes and procedures that utilise various laboratory equipment, together with expert data interpretation systems and a scientific database accumulated over an extensive period of time to determine provenance with specificity beyond just country or region of origin, to mine, farm, orchard, shed or pond.

TSW Trace was first applied to link stolen or smuggled gold back to its mine of origin and was often referred to as “gold fingerprinting”. TSW Trace was used to assess forensic evidence in criminal investigations globally including a number of high profile cases.

How it Works

Every material, whether natural or synthetic, carries a unique chemical signature that has been imposed on it by the environment either where it was grown or by its production or manufacturing process. This unique chemical signature enables that material to be traced back to where it was grown, produced or manufactured (i.e. 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.

Since 2016, we have been utilising TSW Trace as a supply chain integrity tool by scientifically verifying the claimed provenance of food and non-food items allowing us to support claims that relate to the source of origin.

Our testing is undertaken independent of the product’s labels and other systems, such as traceability and chain of custody. The independence of this verification testing is a check on the integrity of the systems and the supply chain.

Learn about our Provenance Science Service