Database established to identify food fraud issues

by Staff
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CHICAGO — The most likely targets for adulteration as the result of food fraud are olive oil, milk, honey, saffron, orange juice, coffee and apple juice, according to new research published in the Journal of Food Science by the Institute of Food Technologists. Such findings are the result of a database that was created to compile information on risk factors for food fraud.

“The vast majority of food fraud is primarily technical and economical,” said John Spink, associate director with the anti-counterfeiting and product protection program at Michigan State University. “However, there are some cases where there can be serious health consequences as illustrated when melamine was added to infant formula and pet food in order to falsify the level of protein content in these products.”

Mr. Spink and other researchers created a database of information about known problematic ingredients and detection methods and reviewed 1,305 records from 677 references. The researchers said the database offers a starting point to better understand the scope, scale and threat of food fraud issues, and analyzing the information may help identify problematic ingredients and facilitate the development of innovative detection methods.

Food fraud is defined as when someone deliberately substitutes, adds, tampers or misrepresents food, food ingredients or food packaging for economic gain.

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