STONY BROOK, N.Y. — April 5, 2016 — Applied DNA Sciences (ADNAS) Inc., a provider of DNA-based supply chain, anti-counterfeiting, anti-theft technology product genotyping and product authentication solutions, has introduced proprietary enhanced DNA authentication technology specifically quantifying cotton species — meaning that consumer cotton brands can now determine the amounts of inappropriate blends in their cotton, not just the presence of inferior blends. This is a significant milestone in cotton quantitation using an enhanced DNA authentication technology for fiberTyping® cotton textiles. This technology applies to premium extra long staple (ELS) cottons that have been blended with shorter staple cotton, and labeled as 100-percent Pima, or 100-percent Egyptian ELS.
“Consumers unknowingly could buy a mislabeled product,” said Dr. Michael E. Hogan, Ph.D. and vice president of Life Sciences at ADNAS. “They could be purchasing a sheet that says it is “100 percent Egyptian “ELS” that is actually not 100 percent ELS, but, instead, made from yarn containing 30 percent ELS, and 70 percent Upland cotton. Our technology provides a method for clearly distinguishing the type of blending, especially in extra long staple cotton products.”
During the past eight years, ADNAS’ team of international molecular biologists, forensic scientists, quality control and assurance and technical advisors developed the scientific and commercial foundation for validating DNA tests for cotton. This was a significant investment including intellectual property, research, development, technical validation and forensic expertise.
“Simply put, it’s about honest cotton,” continued Hogan. “Consumers want to buy products from retailers and brands they trust. Our brand partners can be confident the products they source from suppliers contain truthful materials. With our quantitative DNA testing, we will help keep cotton growing, moving and connecting with consumers around the globe not only in the U.S., but also, in Australia, Brazil, China, Egypt, India, Peru and Turkey.”
Historically, the goal of select processors of premium cotton fibers — Egyptian ELS or American Pima, for example — was to buy the highest quality cotton at the lowest price, attempting to meet product specifications by blending bales with different fiber qualities and types. Blending of premium extra long staple cotton with shorter staple non-ELS upland cotton occurs when brands search for higher profit margins and there is a lack of available high quality extra long staple fiber. This blending of different fiber types results in impure products being labeled and sold as 100 percent ELS cotton, violating US and international laws.
“It has been reported that ELS cotton grown in Egypt is experiencing difficulties due to mixing of pure Egyptian ELS cotton seeds with poorer quality seeds,” noted Hogan. “At recent global industry meetings, discussions were held on the standards for Egyptian cotton and the alleged fraudulent practices taking place now. Our fiberTyping testing enables proper diagnosis of these widely blended, counterfeited textiles.”
Government agencies like the Federal Trade Commission established clear guidelines protecting the consumer by ensuring that products are based on accurate information on product origin, construction, quality and care. The disclosure of fiber content is integral to trade in textiles and apparel; it is incumbent upon the manufacturer to know, and to correctly report, fiber content in both documentation and on product labels.
“This is a critical tipping point,” said MeiLin Wan, vice president of textile sales at ADNAS. “It is important to provide quantitative results for cotton yarns and fabrics, specifically for greige (gray and beige) yarn and fabric. Since they are unprocessed, the ability to extract DNA and precisely determine the quantity of ELS DNA, Upland DNA or a blend, is helpful to determine if the product is 100 percent pure. This is the tip of the iceberg; expect more technical innovations from Applied DNA in the coming year.”
Posted April 5, 2016
Source: Applied DNA Sciences (ADNAS)