Chemical markers to improve traceability of children’s products as a solution to anti-counterfeiting – TRACE4FAKE










When developing their products, the children’s products industry is constantly working in a creative way. These articles and the materials from which they are made have to meet the applicable safety requirements which, in Europe, are rigorous and considered among the most restrictive ones in the world.

The counterfeiting of children’s products is a reality that poses a serious problem for the safety of the products and, therefore, for the end consumer, in other words, the children. It also entails a significant burden for these companies, not only because of the inherent economic loss, but also because of the loss of confidence in the brand, in the face of a potential withdrawal of the product from the market.

However, is it possible to manufacture children’s products using anti-counterfeiting materials, and is it possible to do so while avoiding any toxicological risk to the user?

The implementation of chemical markers in the materials used for the manufacture of the children’s product allows a product to be traced quickly and economically, through photoluminescent properties, among others, which can be modulated according to the specific needs of each company and/or product.

To this end, the requirements of the marker are first established for the target material and processes, in order to develop the relevant masterbatches and compounds to be applied to the target product.

This is followed by an analysis of the bioavailability (or concentration of the additive) and chemical safety of the product, in order to obtain information on the behaviour of these markers in children’s products and to ensure that they do not induce a toxicological risk for the end user.

Finally, the development of demonstrators with plastic compounds by injection moulding will be carried out in order to study the effectiveness of the marker after recycling processes and the analysis of industrial replicability.

The use of markers confers physical or chemical properties to the product that are detected by specifically designed reading systems. As a result, they are neither obvious nor easy to copy. They therefore have a high potential in differentiating genuine products from counterfeits. Their use in children’s products means that they are inert and meet industry standards.

These developments will result in safe, chemically marked children’s products to prevent counterfeiting and improve traceability.


TRACE4FAKE, your ally against counterfeiting of children’s products.


Referee: IMDEEA/2023/75
Start: 01/01/2023
Duration: 12 months
Subsidy amount: 224.001,51 €


Name: Luisa Marín
Phone: +34 96 555 44 75


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