April 7, 2012
Report Reveals Foods Most Likely To Be Fraudulent
An analysis of the first known public database collecting reports on food fraud and economically-inspired adulteration in the industry has revealed the ingredients most likely to be at the center of such scams, the US Pharmacopeial Convention (USP)-- the organization that created the database -- announced in an April 5 press release.
According to the USP's review of scholarly journal reports, the full results of which were published in the April issue of the Journal of Food Science, the seven ingredients most involved in cases of food fraud are: olive oil, milk, honey, saffron, orange juice, coffee, and apple juice.A Huffington Post report listed some of the primary adulterants in each of those seven ingredients:
- Olive oil - deodorants, corn oil, hazelnut oil and palm oil
- Milk - whey, bovine milk protein, melamine and cane sugar
- Honey - high-fructose corn syrup, glucose, fructose, and more
- Saffron - sandlewood dust, starch, yellow dye, gelatin threads, and more
- Orange juice - fungicide, grapefruit juice, marigold flower extract, corn sugar and paprika extract
- Coffee - chicory, roasted corn, caramel, malt, glucose, leguminous plants and maltodextrins
- Apple juice - arsenic, high-fructose corn syrup, raisin sweetener and synthetic malic acid
For the purposes of the study, food fraud is defined as a "collective term that encompasses the deliberate substitution, addition, tampering or misrepresentation of food, food ingredients or food packaging, or false or misleading statements made about a product for economic gain," the Huffington Post added.
"This database is a critical step in protecting consumers," Dr. John Spink of Michigan State University, one of the researchers involved in the study, said in a statement.. "Food fraud and economically motivated adulteration have not received the warranted attention given the potential danger they present."
"We recently defined these terms and now we are defining the scope and scale," he continued. "As many do not believe a concept or risk exists if it does not appear in a scholarly journal, we believe that publication of this paper in the Journal of Food Science will allow us to advance the science of food fraud prevention."
"Well-designed compendial testing approaches can be very powerful tool for guarding against food fraud," added lead author Dr. Jeffrey C. Moore. "Their potential to detect both unknown and known adulterants is a significant benefit in an environment where no one knows and is worried about what harmful adulterant criminals will use to create the next generation of fake food ingredients."
The USP Food Fraud Database can be viewed online at www.foodfraud.org.