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8811352093?profile=RESIZE_400xThis book highlights the use of specific physicochemical parameters, such as sugar content, moisture content, electrical conductivity, acidity, colour, and attributes in the production of honey. It also discusses the use of honey micro-constituents, including volatile compounds, polyphenols, minerals, organic acids, free amino acids and isotopic data, in the determination of the botanical and geographical origins of honey, in combination with chemometrics. It represents the ultimate research guide and reference manual for the determination of honey uniqueness. 

More information on the content here

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Lloyds Register surveyed senior executive across the global beverage sector about their supply chain issues and experience of fraud. Of those completing the survey, 97% had been affected by fraud in the past 12 months, and 80% agreed that fraud was a growing concern. Sixty three percent of the respondents were inthe alcoholic beverage sector and 37% in the non-alcoholic sector. When asked to identify the single biggest fraud threat to their business, the respondents were split almost equally between counterfeiting (32%), adulteration (30%) and simulation (designing a product to look very similar to the legitimate product) (30%). 

You can read the reaction of the dairy sector to the report here. The Lloyds Register Report is free, but you have to register to obtain it. 

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JRC March 2021 Food Fraud Monthly Summary


The European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) has published its March 2021 Food Fraud Monthly Summary reporting food fraud incidents and investigations from around the world. 

Thanks again to our Member Bruno Séchet for creating this infographic and allowing us to share it with the rest of the Network

Read the March 2021 Summary here

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Food crime is a key threat to food companies and consumers around the world. The cost to the global food industry for food fraud (which is only one type of crime) has been estimated at around EUR 30 billion every year, according to a 2018 report by the European Commission.

Many companies are making important efforts to reduce and prevent crime from happening across the supply chain and protect their customers and consumers everywhere.

In order to help the food sector to continue strengthening its efforts in preventing food crime, SSAFE has partnered with five leading experts to develop a free educational video series. Dr. John Spink, Dr. Chris Elliott, Dr. Wim Huisman, Jason Bashura and Neal Fredrickson take us on a journey through the world of food fraud, food defence and food integrity – what it is, what the issues are, what is being done, and what can be done in the future in order to help reduce and prevent food crime from occurring.

“Throughout history food crime has been a serious problem” says Adrian Sharp, President of SSAFE. “Working together with some of the best leading experts in the world on food fraud, food defence and food integrity SSAFE continues to help increase awareness and strengthen the food supply chain across the world. This lecture series should be very helpful and informative in helping the food industry, from farm to fork, reduce food crime for a better future.”

This free video series, which can be accessed through the SSAFE website (, will help people working across the food sector better understand what food crime is, the different types of crime that may occur, and what a food business can do about it. Through a broad series of short videos these global experts share their decades worth of knowledge and experience to help strengthen food supply around the world.

Dr. Chris Elliott says “The SSAFE Food Crime Prevention Series is the first of its kind and I hope that both industry and government agencies will find the videos informative and helpful in combatting the growing menace of criminal activity in our global food system.”

This video series complements other important tools from SSAFE such as the Food Fraud Vulnerability Assessment tool developed in 2016 available through the 'Tools' page of the Food Authenticity Network's Food Fraud Mitigation section. This tool (available for free in ten languages) enables any food company to self-assess their vulnerability to food fraud. The tool has been a great success with 40,000+ downloads and more than 7,500 online assessments completed across 70+ countries.

In addition to these tools, SSAFE will be launching a free Food Safety Culture assessment tool this summer. Please visit the SSAFE website next month (April 2021) for further information.

The SSAFE Food Crime Prevention Lecture Series has also been added to the 'Guidance' page of the Food Authenticity Network's Food Fraud Mitigation section.

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The  development of rapid non-destructive hand held devices for testing for food authenticity has been growing at a pace in recent years. US researchers have developed the MasSpec Pen technology, which is placed on the food and connects with a mass spectrometer that employs a solvent droplet and gives an answer in 15 seconds.The MasSpec Pen has been used to authenticate grain-fed beef, grass-fed beef, venison, cod, halibut, Atlantic salmon, sockeye salmon, and steelhead trout. Statistical models developed with the Lasso method using a training set of samples yielded per-sample accuracies of 95% for the beef model, 100% for the beef versus venison model, and 84% for the multiclass fish model. In addition, feasibility testing for classifying venison and grass-fed beef samples adulterated with grain-fed beef achieved prediction accuracies of 100% for both classifiers using test sets of samples.

Read the abstract here

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This report from the Norwegian Research Institute Nofima, and one of the research outputs of the EU Project EU-China Safe, examines the supply chain from the Bordeaux region in France to China to try and identify where discrepancies in the recorded traceability data and points of weakness might occur in order to indicate vulnerability to possible fraud. The mapping and analysis of the supply chain, and the indication of where fraud might happen was partly based on existing scientific literature, reports, and news stories, and partly on a number of interviews conducted with supply chain actors in France and in China. The limitations of this report relate to the fact that the study has focused solely on the Bordeaux wine trade between France and China. Access to respondents for the study was limited, even if the data collected was complemented with both primary and secondary data sources. Because the wine supply trade is quite complex, it is acknowledged that there are many more perspectives along the local-in-global supply chain that have not been reflected in this report. However, this study will contribute to the growing body of academic literature and discussion to inform governance structures for the cultivation of a more secure food trade and traceability between Europe and China in general. 

Read the full report here

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Sanger sequencing (DNA barcoding) is a robust method for species identification. However, it is not always suitable for species identification of processd mixed species products. Chinese researchers have developed an NGS method based on the amplification and sequencing of shorter 16S rRNA DNA sequences. The assay was developed using a mixture of 8 salmon species, which were all correctly identified even when the species was presented as low as 1%(w/w). It was tested with a market survey of 32 commercial salmon products. Sanger sequencing was used on single species unprocessed products and NGS on mixed species products, which was also cross validated with a real-time PCR assay. The survey revealed that 50% of the samples were mislabelled.

Read the abstract here

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Honey is regarded as one of the foods most susceptible to adulteration or mislabelling. Greek researchers have used the Scopus database to determine which issues and methods of authenticity have had most published papers. The result indicated that the determination of botanical origin  was the most studied authenticity issue, and chromatographic methods were the most frequently used for its assessment. This comprehensive review examines other methodologies to assess honey botanical and geographical origin using separation techniques, DNA methods, spectroscopic, elemental and isotopic techniques. Methods for sugar adulteration of honey are not covered.

Read the full open access paper here

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300Over a quarter of consumers actively stated that they distrust government authorities and manufacturers (29% and 26% respectively) found the EIT #FoodTrustReport.

What's damaging consumer trust? Anthony Warner - known as The Angry Chef - says: "there's too much information [about food choices]. It's all very confusing."

In this episode of #EITFoodFight, he and Liesbet Vranken explore:

➡️ Food marketing and health claims like 'detox'
➡️ The role of social media influencers
➡️ Where consumers can get trustworthy information.

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Coffee leaf rust (Hemileia vastatrix) has decimated coffee regions around the world, and now it has reached Hawaii's Kona coffee region. If farmers find rust before it is on more than 5 percent of the coffee leaves on their farms, then it can be controlled by spraying preventative fungicides made with copper and bacillus, a bacteria found in soil. If the infected leaves are more than 5% infection, then the disease spreads quickly.

Read the article here

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Recent cases show that herbs and spices are susceptible to adulteration. Italian researchers have utilised AMS (ambient mass pectrometry) coupled to mid-level data fusion as a rapid non-targeted method for oregano authentication for the first time. Authentic and adulterated oregano samples were extracted using two procedures and analysed in positive and negative ion modes by direct analysis in real time-high resolution mass spectrometry (DART-HRMS). The four blocs of data were combined into a unique dataset and analysed chemometrically to distinguish authentic from adulterated oregano.  Fourteen most informative signals of authenticity were chosen and validated. The final model gave an accuracy, sensitivity and specificity of >90%.  

Read the abstract here

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Rapid NMR Test to Authenticate Olive Oil


In 2019, a Europol-coordinated operation resulted in the seizure of 150,000 litres of low-quality oils that had been adulterated with colourants to make them appear like extra virgin olive oils, with 20 arrest made. There are recommended methods to authenticate olive oils using different test procedures applied one after the other, which is time-consuming and expensive. German researchers have developed a rapid NMR (nuclear magnetic resonance) that gives a  profile based on the identification of constituents such as fatty acids and polyphenols in one hour. A database of profiles has been built up with extra virgin olive oil produced in Greece, Italy and Spain permitting the country of origin to be checked as well.

Read the article here

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DNA authentication of wines is challenging given the acidic and alcoholic medium of wines coupled with their long storage. Russian researchers have investigated using the centrifuged debris precipitated from either red or white wines using various precipitators and co-precipitators as a source of DNA for grape varietal identification. The strategy for identification was based on direct sequencing of the PCR (polymerase chain reaction) products amplified using primers based on the grape UFGT gene locus. Although DNA extracted directly from grape varieties gave good varietal identification, there were some problems in identifcation encountered in analysing commercial wines, which indicated further research is necessary for method improvement. 

Read the open access paper here

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In the European Commission's Farm to Fork Strategy document, there is an initiative to consider extending the country of origin provisions in the Food Information to Consumer Regulation to more foods in Q4 of 2022. At present, there is obligatory origin labelling for  fruits and vegetables, olive oil, honey, eggs, meat, fish, wine and spirit drinks. The categories of foods suggested for an extended country of origin labelling are milk, rice, and potatoes, but some Member States want it to be applied to all foods.

Read the article here

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1616616305041?e=1619654400&v=beta&t=XYAFbfDlinVazIDS3Rar2BUkVVLK_ypq0_nDOwhm0bwThe Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has published a report on fish species substitution surveillance.

Fish filets in fresh, frozen, dried, or salted format were collected to determine if the common name was accurately represented in relation to the species of fish. CFIA inspectors collected fish samples at domestic processors, importers and retail establishments (fish packaged at retail). The Ministère de l'Agriculture, Pêcheries et l'Alimentation du Québec (MAPAQ) collected retail samples in Québec. From April 1, 2019 to March 31, 2020, 362 samples were collected from across Canada.

The samples were tested at a CFIA laboratory using DNA-based fish species identification testing. This method compares DNA of samples against DNA barcode sequences for known fish species contained in a database.

The results showed that 92% of the samples tested were assessed as being satisfactory.

Read full report.

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Food in a Pandemic report published


The Food in a Pandemic report, commissioned by the FSA and produced by Demos as part of Renew Normal: The People’s Commission on Life after Covid, looks to understand how a new food environment created during the pandemic has impacted the public’s behaviours and preferences. The research included: a nationally representative survey of 10,069 UK adults, a nationally representative online deliberative method called Polis with 1,006 UK respondents, a series of four deliberative workshops, and an open access survey of 911 adults.

Key findings on the public’s experience during the pandemic 

Food insecurity 

The report shows that people have stepped in to help prevent new forms of food insecurity caused by people self-isolating by offering informal forms of support such as shopping for others   

Findings also show there is a public appetite for the government to take action to help feed those without the means to feed themselves. People also tend to be more supportive of preventative actions for food insecurity, such as ensuring well-paid jobs are available to all. Just under two thirds (63%) agreed in the Polis that ‘it is the government’s responsibility to make sure no-one goes hungry’. 

UK food supply 

It’s reported a significant proportion of the population have bought food more locally or grown more food during the pandemic, reflecting a wider move towards individual self-sufficiency. Many of those who have made this move expect it to continue after the pandemic. 

78% of those surveyed supported the UK keeping its current food quality standards, even if food is more expensive and less competitive in the global market. A similar proportion (82%) also supported maintaining the UK’s current animal welfare standards, when presented with the same trade-off against prices and competitiveness. 

Diet and eating habits 

There has been a complex shift in people’s diets during Covid-19, with more home cooking. Although a third (32%) of respondents in the poll reported eating more healthy main meals, a third (33%) ate more unhealthy snacks. 

Some of the restrictions and public health advice, such as stay at home, might have encouraged more healthy eating. Those who have cooked more or eaten healthier main meals tend to expect this change to continue. However, this is likely to be somewhat dependent on the other changes, such as continued flexible working.  

Read full report.


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Woman checking vegetables in garden allotment

Food fraud poses a serious threat to the food system. How can we fight against it and be confident that the food we are buying is authentic and safe?

Top Takeaways from this blog

  • Food fraud in EU Member States increased by 85% between 2016 and 2019 (1) and the COVID-19 pandemic is predicted to have increased cases even further (2).
  • All types of food fraud are detrimental to the reputation of the agrifood industry and cause harm to consumers and legitimate businesses.
  • Innovation and collaboration are crucial for the agrifood industry to share best practice and create solutions for food fraud mitigation and prevention.
  • Technologies and digital traceability systems such as blockchain can help to track a food product’s journey through the supply chain and pinpoint the origins of food fraud.
  • Raising awareness about how to identify food fraud, through initiatives such as EIT Food’s Future Learn education courses, is a great way to reduce risks and increase consumer confidence. 

Read full blog, which refers to the Food Authenticity Network as a "great example" of what is being done to mitigate and prevent food fraud.

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The Guardian newspaper has made a study of 44 reports in over 30 countries of the labelling of 9,000 fish and seafood samples in catering and retail, which reveal that around 36% were mislabelled. The fish and seafood most susceptible to mislabelling were snapper, king scallops, and shark.  

Read the article here

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This review investigates the feasibility of different non-destructive techniques used for authenticating meat products, which could provide real-time monitoring in the near future. The spectroscopic techniques reviewed are NIR (near infrared), MIR (mid-infrared), FTIR (Fourier transform infrared), and Raman. The imaging techniques discussed are colour imaging, hyperspectral imaging and Xray imaging with computed technology. The advantages of these techniques is that they can be applied in-situ, and they give rapid results, but calibration procedures are laborious. In addition, the results are influenced by scanning times, sample to detector distance and environmental factors such as ambient temperature, humidity, illumination conditions, and sample temperature, the latter can differ in meat processing facilities. However, it is hoped that the application of these techniques will be easier with the improvement in instrumental technology, the availability of high-speed computers with appropriate storage capacity, and the development of appropriate chemometric procedures.

Read the full paper here

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