Food fraud is the substitution, dilution or intentional addition of a food product to obtain a financial gain by increasing the apparent value of a product or by reducing its production cost. It can be as easy as deceptive labelling.
Foods that are more affected:
Fish and sea food products
According to the GFSI (Global Food Safety Initiative):
The Complexity of Food Fraud
Results of a survey conducted by Eurofins EnvironeX
An example would be spices in the context of globalization
They are a very small part of our diet but have a major impact on international commerce.
The distribution cycle of a spice sold in North America passes through numerous stakeholders located in various countries.
This type of commerce involves a large number of middlemen which means there are opportunities for fraudsters
The complexity of processed food and the fact that many ingredients come from different countries contribute to making the food chain more complex.
How to Manage Risk?
Regulatory and Certification Requirements
Companies certified under the BRC (British Retail Consortium) must evaluate the vulnerability of their raw materials and implement monitoring programs.
FSSC 22000 (Food Safety System Certification) and the SQF (Safe Quality Food Institute) will add fraud to their requirements.
The US Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) refers to food fraud which includes economically motivated adulteration.
Evaluate ingredients while taking into account factors influencing the risks of fraud:
Nature of the ingredient
Availability of raw materials
Available analyses to detect fraud
Implement an ingredient monitoring program, depending on the risk.
DNA analyses by means of PCR technology
Fatty acids profiles
IRMS – Isotope Ratio Mass Spectroscopy
Specific natural isotope splitting by means of nuclear magnetic resonance.
Make vulnerability analyses part of the Quality Assurance Program.
Continue to itemize fraud cases in the data bases to identify the ingredients at risk.
USP (US Pharmacopeial Convention), NCFPD (National Center for Food Protection and Defense), European Union Rapid Alert System
Develop specific analytical methods to oppose fraudsters.
Help provided by Eurofins EnvironeX
Eurofins EnvironeX specialists can advise you on food fraud: