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January 29, 2020

Applied DNA granted patent for man-made cellulosic fibre tagging

Applied DNA Sciences has been granted a US patent that protects its CertainT molecular tagging process in relation to man-made cellulosic fibres and materials.

By Beth Wright

Applied DNA Sciences has been granted a US patent that protects its CertainT molecular tagging process in relation to man-made cellulosic fibres and materials.

The newly-issued 10,519,605 patent, entitled ‘Methods of Marking Cellulosic Products’, covers methods of tagging man-made cellulosic (MMC) fibres or materials with a nucleic acid (DNA) tag during production. It also covers later authenticating the nucleic acid-tagged MMC fibres and/or materials via PCR-based detection techniques to confirm provenance and/or authenticity.

Global MMC production volume more than doubled from 3m (in 1990) to 6.7m metric tons in 2018, and is expected to continue to grow at an annual rate of 9% through 2024, according to Applied DNA. MMCs include viscose, rayon, acetate, lyocell, Tencel, modal and cupro materials.

Most MMCs are primarily derived from wood. Heightened awareness related to the sourcing of wood raw materials from endangered or ancient forests, the social and environmental concerns relating to the chemicals used in production, as well as the amount of energy and water used to manufacture MMCs, has led to greater oversight of the MMC industry and requires proof that these materials come from controlled and sustainable sources that can be verified by scientific evidence.

“The use of MMC fibers and materials is moving the textile industry towards greater sustainability, but has also yielded social and environmental concerns related to deforestation and biodiversity,” says MeiLin Wan, vice president of textile sales at Applied DNA. “In response, brands and retailers, such as H&M Group that has articulated a goal to only use MMC fibers from certified, responsibly-managed sources in its products by 2025, are actively strengthening their sourcing policies to address these concerns. Central to their initiatives is traceability of their MMC supply chains to feedstock levels.”

Wayne Buchen, vice president of strategic sales at Applied DNA, adds: “Transparency related to the source, origin and authenticity of MMCs is the key to unlock valuable claims related to sustainable and ethical sourcing – and this is important for the supply chain to know that their product and brand is secure from source to shelf.”

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