Counterfeit Products

Counterfeit goods are becoming an increasing issue both for commerce and public safety.  These items are often manufactured with inferior materials or ingredients and without the quality control that governs the production of authentic materials.  Microtrace scientists are contacted routinely to examine and/or compare such materials to determine if signs of a counterfeit product are detectable.  Such investigations have spanned products, packaging, and labeling.  These analyses have been performed for manufacturers, distributors, consumer advocacy groups, and the media.


Pharmaceuticals and Supplements

Pharmaceuticals, supplements and vitamins purchased online, through the mail, or from other non-regulated sources are typically counterfeit and may not contain an active ingredient, may contain a different active ingredient, or may contain the wrong dose of an active ingredient.  In addition, contamination and other unexpected ingredients may be present.  Microtrace has analyzed suspected counterfeit sources from the Middle East and Asia, as well as material utilized by unlicensed doctors to perform non-regulated cosmetic surgeries.  Through a detailed chemical and microscopical analysis, a great deal of information about the actual contents of a product can be determined.  Read more about two recent cases (Fox and ABC World News) we worked on that were highlighted by the media.



Though different materials, these goods are typically counterfeited to avoid taxes.  Detailed chemical and microscopical analysis of their contents can provide specific evidence of forging, and when multiple lots are examined, it can be possible to determine items or lots of items produced by the same forgery ring.


Designer Goods/Consumer Products

Consumer goods like purses, jewelry, cosmetics, and perfumes are often counterfeited due to the high value of the authentic items.  Analyses ranging from relatively basic visual examinations through detailed measurement and chemical analysis can help a client to determine if any “red flags” exist or, in some cases, whether a product is truly counterfeit.


Fur and Animal Products

Over the years we have conducted analyses for numerous clients wishing to determine whether a product contained animal hair or whether it contained a specific type of animal hair.  Read more about our capabilities here.


Art, Antiquities and Collectibles

Due to their high potential value, art, collectibles, and even antiquities can be altered to appear older, counterfeited, or forged completely.  Read more about our work in this area here.


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