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A Quebec first:
laboratory offers testing to counter food fraud.

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:

Authenticity tests by IRMS and NMR:

  • Maple syrup
  • Honey
  • Citrus and fruit juices
  • Vanilla
  • Wine
  • Olive oil

GMOs detection by PCR and q-PCR:

  • Corn
  • Canola

Species identification by q-PCR:

  • Beef
  • Horse
  • Pork
  • Buffalo
  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Mutton
  • Rabbit
  • Haddock
  • Pengasius
  • Halibut
  • Cod
  • Salmon
  • Trout
  • Pollock

ELISA method:

  • Spice adulteration with allergenic substances
  • Soy flour addition in food

How can Eurofins EnvironeX help manufacturers set up their own food fraud prevention program, as part of an existing quality management system, to actively manage the risks?

HOW TO TACKLE A VULNERABILITY ASSESSMENT?

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:

  • Ingredient nature
  • Historical data
  • Economic factors
  • Geopolitical factors
  • Availability of raw materials
  • Available testing to detect fraud

Several evaluation tools are available. With this approach, the most risk-laden ingredients can be identified and a surveillance
program can established.

ESTABLISHING A SURVEILLANCE PROGRAM

 

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!

The innovation team of Eurofins EnvironeX continues its development work in order to offer to the industry the following analyzes in the coming months:

  • GMOs (soya, alfalfa, cotton, papaya, beet, zuchinni…)
  • Coffee, Tea
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