Food fraud is now part of the daily concerns of all players involved in the food industry, from food producer to consumer. It can be defined as follows: any substitution, dilution and/or intentional addition of a food product, with the fraudulous intent to gain financial advantage by increasing the apparent value of the product or reduce its production cost. It can also be as simple as misleading labelling.
Eurofins EnvironeX, the largest nationally owned laboratory, is proud to be the first to offer testing to tackle challenges with food fraud:
A vulnerability assessment can address a specific ingredient or a whole category.
The first step is to gather all the necessary information on raw material, suppliers and distribution chain. Subsequently, each ingredient or category must be evaluated in terms of fraud risk by taking into account the following aspects:
Several evaluation tools are available. With this approach, the most risk-laden ingredients can be identified and a surveillance program can established.
To prevent food fraud, several actions can be taken: adopting a supplier qualification program, maintaining good business relations with those qualified suppliers and establishing a sampling plan for raw material based on the vulnerability assessment results. The testing done on the samples must target the parameter which will guaranty or confirm ingredient authenticity.
Finally, the vulnerability assessment and the monitoring plan must be dynamic. They must be reviewed on a regular basis in response to new threat, changes in the market, new analytical methods and recent episodes of fraud. It must not be forgotten that fraudsters’ techniques evolve constantly!