SAN FRANCISCO — A California couple and several accomplices are on trial for allegedly stealing trade secrets from DuPont, ABC News reported.

The couple — Walter and Christina Liew ­— along with two former DuPont Scientists and the Chinese Company Pangang Group Co. Ltd. have been charged with economic espionage after they allegedly stole DuPont’s recipe for titanium oxide, a whitening ingredient used in a wide-range of products from Oreo cookies to car paint.

Federal prosecutors launched an investigation after the Liews hired retired DuPont engineers and won a $17 million contract to design a Chinese factory to make titanium dioxide.