CC images courtesy of GS1.
App users can verify labels by scanning close to the bottle, which directs the consumer to its supplier’s website through a link.
The selling of unauthentically labelled alcohol poses health risks to drinkers and robs spirit and wine producers of income.
Giant French wine producer Castel has employed the technology for the scanning of 13 million bottles intended for China-bound export.
Frank Crouzet, spokesperson for Castel, said: “The Chinese are asking for a lot of information and for reassurance regarding the origin of the product,”Agence France Presse (AFP) reported.
GS1 has also been used for exports to Vietnam, another country infamous for beverage fraud.
Christophe Chateau, spokesperson for the Bordeaux Wine Council, said: “China is the most notorious, but the problem is worldwide.”
Although a practised eye could spot artificial reproductions, many fraudulent produces are not very easy to spot.
Pierre Georget, chief executive officer of GS1 France, referred to a case in the Czech Republic last year where 20 people died due to consuming counterfeit spirits.
Based in Brussels, GS1 is part of a non-governmental organisation which uses unique bar codes to prevent fake replications.
The barcode system ensures there are no repetitions which guarantee tracking and authentication for a number of goods.
Italian wine producer Chianti spends EUR100,000 (US$132,000) annually on registration for wine protection.
Silvia Fiorentini, spokesperson for the Chianti Classico Consortium, said the company had “some problems” in Russia.
Producing 35 million bottles per year of which 80 per cent is intended for export, Chianti uses a distinctive seal to mark the cap and bottle with a unique number and code, as well as a trademark tag on its black rooster emblem.
GS1 presented its counterfeit combating solution at the Bordeaux-based Vinexpo last week.
The solution is similar to FDA drug identification in United States (US).
Damien Guille, sales manager of German label company VeoMark, said a physical security feature is needed as an addition to GS1, though it is “a good start”.