• Each tin will have a code on the bottom which links to information about the product's origins. Source: ABC Rural
    Each tin will have a code on the bottom which links to information about the product's origins. Source: ABC Rural

A Melbourne dairy processor is embedding laser coding into infant formula tins heading to China to reduce the risk of contamination.

The tins from Camperdown Dairy International (CDI) will each have a unique identifier showing details of the batch and the place it was made, according to ABC Rural.

CDI used technology from a New Zealand company called Trust Codes (formerly Expander), which worked in collaboration with Matthews Australasia on the project.

Consumers will be able to use their smartphones to scan the QR Code on the bottom of each tin, which will link to information about the product's authenticity.

In addition, each tin will feature a "contamination-proof" lid and spoon system.

CDI milk powder manager Gavin Evans told ABC Rural he expected other companies would follow suit.

“Over time we expect it's quite likely this will be mandated,” he said.

“As a new entrant in the market, we've made sure to introduce our first product into the market with this technology attached.

“We want to... give people confidence in the product they're buying.”

Health scares of the past have meant Chinese consumers are willing to pay more for Australian product, which are marketed as a "clean, green, safe" option.

Evans said counterfeit operations threatened the strong reputation of the Australian dairy industry.

"Whatever the product, if there's a premium being paid for it there's an incentive for people to try and cut corners," he told ABC Rural.

"It's a very real factor and the brand's reputation is paramount."

The safety of dairy products was under question when blackmailers threatened to contaminate New Zealand infant milk formula earlier this year.

Evans said safety could never be fully guaranteed, but the company has tried to make contamination as difficult as possible.

"The more that you can invest in these risk mitigants, the better position you're going to have in the market in terms of the consumers' view of your product and its safety," he said.

"Our product has got a special lid that shows it hasn't been opened before and the scoop is embedded in a place that's much more convenient for the consumer to access.”

The anti-counterfeit and brand protection market is expected to grow to US$14 billion by 2020.

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