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Behind the BioTag™

Nature’s code - DNA - provides an elegant way to design uniquely identifiable BioTags™ from baker’s yeast, which act as a microscopic fingerprint to securely link a product to its supply chain data. Together with our digital registry, Trailhead™, this complete solution unlocks true supply chain digitization and provides reliable product identification.

BioTags™ let your product tell its story, without the packaging.


Inert Bioengineering

Each BioTag™ is made to be uniquely identifiable, much like a microscopic fingerprint. We use a proprietary process to create BioTags™ from baker’s yeast that ensures they are inert. No genes are modified, inserted or deleted through this inert bioengineering process. An unlimited number of unique BioTag™ sequences can be created using this method.

Quality Control

The successful creation of each BioTag™ is confirmed using standard molecular techniques. This quality control step is an added assurance that no genes have been modified, inserted or deleted through our inert bioengineering process, and ensures the safety of each uniquely identifiable BioTag™.


Once the safety of each BioTag™ sequence has been confirmed, it is added to our customer portal, Trailhead™. This serves as the interface between a physical product that has been BioTagged, and its digital supply chain. Trailhead™ can be easily integrated with existing traceability software through a simple API to keep all product information in one place.

Grow & Inactivate

At this point, BioTags™ are ready for production. Standard yeast manufacturing allows for reliable BioTag™ production at a large scale. Each batch is killed to ensure inactivation prior to any commercial application, with the yeast cell providing a natural barrier that protects the identifying sequence inside. The powdered BioTags™ are now ready for shipment.


Unique BioTags™ can be applied directly to any product at any point or multiple points along the supply chain. They can be mixed with ingredients, sprayed onto products, or integrated directly into existing manufacturing processes. Only trace amounts of BioTag™ are required for reliable detection, and so there is no impact to the taste, colour, or odour of products they are applied to.


BioTag™ sequences can be detected on-site, or samples can be sent to Index or a third-party lab for authentication. Standard molecular techniques including PCR are used to detect BioTag™ sequences, with reliable detection significantly below parts-per-million. Sequence information can be cross-referenced with Trailhead™ for integrated verification at any point in the supply chain.

Biotag™ features


Yeast is a commonly used ingredient within food and agricultural products, with a long history of safe use. Index's proprietary design process ensures each BioTag™ is characteristically and nutritionally identical to standard baker's yeast, and is inactivated to ensure the final product is incapable of any further growth. BioTags™ are edible and have been FDA approved for use in food.


Using nature’s code, DNA, allows for an unlimited number of unique BioTag™ sequences to be created. BioTags™ also benefit from the established global manufacturing processes that have been developed for yeast over several decades, which allows for the reliable production of BioTags™ at any scale.


The Trailhead™ digital registry provides a secure digital environment for sequence storage and reference, and is related to manufacturing and intended use information. Using a simple API, Trailhead™ can be securely integrated with existing traceability software.


BioTags™ can be added, mixed, sprayed or affixed in trace amounts to any product, allowing for seamless integration into existing production pipelines. By adding unique BioTags™ at multiple nodes along a supply chain, the chain of custody can be verified throughout a product’s journey. BioTags™ are customizable to match the strategic needs and operational realities of almost any supply chain use case.


Using yeast provides incredible scalability to production and enables a natural durability to each BioTag™, allowing for protection of the unique identifying sequence within. This durability has been proven along harsh supply chains, and allows for reliable detection and product authentication.