food integrity (18)

Effect of Storage Time on Wine DNA


DNA analysis to check wine authenticity and integrity has been reported in several previous studies. This study examines the survival of DNA during wine storage, before and after bottling in the  case of a large Italian wine cooperative. Two monovarietal productions: red sparkling Bonarda PDO and white Pinot gris PDO, were followed starting from the end of oenological practices until 1 year after bottling. The wine was analysed using SSR (simple sequence repeats or microsatellites) DNA analysis for four consecutive months before bottling, and month 2, 8 and 12 after bottling. The results showed that after 8 months, DNA degradation increased significantly in the red wine samples in particular, which would hinder DNA traceability.

Read the abstract here

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A number of Australian fresh produce industry bodies have received funding as part of a Victorian government programme designed to improve the way agricultural producers get their products to market. In the first tranche of the Food to Market programme, A$8.4m worth of grants has been distributed to 13 key industry and regional peak bodies. Global Victoria has contributed an additional A$2.8m to provide export recovery support to industries impacted by disruptions as a result of the pandemic.

 Ausveg received A$960k to commence a pilot in partnership with the Victorian government to investigate and trial alternative packaging and transport options for broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, celery and lettuce crop producers in Victoria.

Cherry Growers Australia received A$750k to support the development of a ‘chemical use for export toolkit’ to allow businesses planning to export their produce so they can more easily meet the expectations of international markets.

Citrus Australia and the Australian Table Grape Association (ATGA) received A$1.4m to lead two innovative traceability pilots for premium fruit, which  include using leading technology, isotope testing, cool-chain tracking and orchard mapping to enhance traceability. This will aim to safeguard the industry from fraudulent products and ensure that the integrity of premium fruit brands and varieties is protected. As regards table grapes ATGA has partnered with Agriculture Victoria for its A$650k pilot project, which commenced in June 2021 and will run for the duration of the 2021/22 table grape harvest season. Improvement in traceability will be developed by Technology provider Result Group, who will apply unique serialised GS1 Digital Link-enabled QR code labels to export table grapes, allowing the automated collection of data from farm and supply chain. This information can be shared with consumers to authenticate the food’s precise origin and engage with the brand through an open platform smartphone scan.

Read the article here or the ATGA Press Release

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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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Edible Holograms Could Help Prevent Food Fraud


The International Hologram Manufacturers Association (IHMA) claim that a new development of edible holograms could help food integrity and prevent fraud. This follows a report that US scientists have been able to embed edible holograms into chocolate. These are made from a thin film of a dried solution of glucose syrup, vanilla and water, which is coated with a fine layer of non-toxic black dye. The dye is etched off using direct laser interference patterning, leaving raised nanoscale lines, which act as a diffraction grating and produces the image or information visible on the hologram. Whilst the development only works for certain types confectionery, it has opened up a host of opportunities and innovations in the control and labelling of food.

Read the article here

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In this article, Emily Miles, Head of the Food Standards Agency, and Prof Chris Elliott, Queens University Belfast, discuss the impact of reduced funding to local authorities (LAs) at the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) Food Safety Conference. Emily Miles noted the 20% reduction in food professionals (Environmental Health Officers and Trading Standards Officers) for 2020/21 and what it might mean for food safety, and the effect on our future trade after Brexit. Prof Elliott spoke about the seven principles of food integrity: food should be safe; authentic; nutritious; systems used to produce food should be sustainable; ethical; we have to respect and protect the environment and all those people who produce food.The budget cuts for sampling and testing could lead to a two-tier system in the UK, where large food retailers and manufacturers continue their own very effective food integrity assurance, but leave the SMEs in a very vulnerable position.

Read the aricle here

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Eurofins has announced the launch of the TOFoo (True Organic Food) project to develop analyses and services to ensure the authenticity and integrity of organic food products. The project will be rolled out over five and a half years, with a EUR 17.3 million budget. The project has secured over EUR 8 million in funding from the Future Investment Programme, run by the General Secretariat for Investment (SGPI), and operated by Bpifrance on behalf of the French Government. The project has five partners from the food industry, laboratory analysis and digital sectors, and four partners from academia.

Read the Press release here

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3843236670?profile=RESIZE_710xFIIN was established in 2015, in response to the Elliott Review on the horsemeat incident, with the aim of ensuring the integrity of food supply chains through the collection, analysis and sharing of intelligence. It has more than doubled its membership from the original 21 members when it was established. Since reporting first commenced, FIIN has collated over 250,000 product authenticity test results, which have been analysed and disseminated between members to provide valuable insight and intelligence. 25% of the current membership represents companies with a turnover of £100 million or less, who greatly benefit from this pooling of combined resources and data. The Network has also signed agreements with Food Standards Scotland (FSS), the Food Standards Agency's (FSA) National Food Crime Unit, and Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) to establish two-way pipelines of information exchange. Prof. Chris Elliott (photo) is a FIIN board member and independent advisor, and states that “food crime is an ongoing and rising threat, but in my opinion the UK is now the best-placed country in the world to fight back".  

Read the article here

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Jill Hoffman, McCormick &Co, gave the keynote address at the APAC (Asia- Pacific) Food Safety Conference 2019 in Sydney. She outlined the breadth of work carried out by food safety and quality professionals. However, when considering the emerging risks companies are facing, then food authenticity, fraud and sustainability should also be included in the increasing number of risks companies have to take into account. Therefore, these need to be dealt with by building a food integrity culture.

3465109688?profile=RESIZE_710x Read the article here  

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3435350351?profile=RESIZE_710xThe EU FoodIntegrity project has published a number of Scientific Opinions on difficult stakeholder derived issues that concern food fraud. The topics were all identified by stakeholders and are intended as documents that describe best practices. The published Scientific Opinions can be found here under the 'Scientific Opinions' tab.

The latest Scientific Opinion published is on "Use of NMR applications to tackle future food fraud issues". The SO discusses how both targeted (allows the identification of specific markers of identity/adulteration for a given foodstuff) and untargeted (the chemical profile of the whole foodstuff is used to create a unique fingerprint as a reference for suspect samples) NMR methodologies are applied in routine use for food fraud monitoring. The cost-effective approaches for routine application are discussed using examples of Food Screener™ and benchtop low-field instruments.

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Pictured above is Bhavna Parmar of the UK Food Standards Agency with Anne Bridges of AACC International.

The Codex Committee on Methods of Analysis and Sampling (CCMAS) held its 40th Session in Budapest, Hungary, from 27 to 31 May 2019. The Session was attended by 49 Member countries and 1 Member organization and 12 observer organisations.

Selvarani Elahi, representing the UK Government Chemist, attended as part of the UK delegation together with colleagues from the Food Standards Agency and the Association of Public Analysts.

CCMAS considers methods of analysis for Codex standards and testing in relation to international food trade. CCMAS 40 discussed analytical methods for nutritional metals, acid value and free fatty acids in palm oil, milk and milk product commodities, 'gluten free' labelling in products containing cereals, pulses and legumes, and herbs & species. The meeting also received updates from working groups on the revision of three substantive Codex documents: general standard for methods of analysis and sampling, guidelines on measurement uncertainty and guidelines on sampling. Work on these documents continues in order to reach global consensus.

As there is increasing interest in food integrity and food authenticity at Codex, the poster on the Food Authenticity Network attracted attention from delegates. Follow-up discussions are planned with member countries on creating ‘country-specific’ pages on the Food Authenticity Network for their countries in order to create a truly global network. Discussions will also continue with the food industry and observer organisations looking to support the work of the Network.

If you would like further information on supporting the Network, please contact us on

The Food Authenticity Network is mentioned in the meeting report, which is available from the Codex Alimentarius website.

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Spanish authors have published a chapter in a new book - "Mass Spectrometry - Future Perceptions and Applications", reviewing the use of LC-MS (Liquid Chromatography- Mass Spectrometry) in a wide number of authenticity applications. The chapter discusses the use in targeted analysis with or without chemometrics for identifying polyphenols to authenticate different fruits, vegetables and honey. It also reviews the use of LC-HRMS (High Resolution Mass Spectrometry) with chemometrics in targeted applications identifying biomarkers in saffron, fruits, cocoa beans, spices and rice. Non-targeted LC-MS applications for metabolomics in a wide range of foods are also covered.

Read the open access chapter  

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Food fraud a worldwide problem and many countries continue to commit considerable resource to combat the issue. With the food supply chain now truly global, there is acknowledgement that having agreed definitions for terms commonly associated with food authenticity and food fraud would be of great benefit.

The Norwegian Institute of Food, Fisheries and Aquaculture Research (Nofima), has led a European initiative with the objective of making communication regarding food fraud more precise. Together with food fraud experts (including from the Food Authenticity Network Team) from several European countries including the UK, a European standard has been created that defines many of the English terms and concepts used in connection with food fraud. The words are placed in a hierarchical system that makes it easier to understand how they relate to each other - see image.

The standardisation was coordinated as part of the EU-funded Authent-Net and FoodIntegrity projects. It was published in January 2019 by Standard Norway, and it is also being distributed by several other National Standardisation Bodies in Europe; currently Estonia, Netherlands, and the UK.

This standard represents an important first step in the global standardisation of these terms which will help facilitate trade, combat food fraud and better secure our food supply chains.

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IFST has re-written its “Food authenticity testing” Information Statement and split it into two parts:

Food authenticity testing part 1: The role of analysis, which now covers the role of analytical testing within the context of an overall supply chain assurance strategy.

Analytical testing is a valuable tool in the armoury to assure food authenticity but cannot be used to identify every type of food fraud.  It is only one part of an overall strategy to mitigate fraud risk.

Many modern tests are based upon comparing a pattern of measured values in the test sample with patterns from a database of authentic samples. Interpretation is highly dependent on the robustness of the database, and whether it includes all possible authentic variables and sample types. This information may not be released by the laboratory.  Interpretation of results is rarely clear-cut, and analytical results are often used to inform and target further investigation (such as unannounced audits or mass-balance checks) rather than for making a compliance decision.

This paper describes where testing can and cannot be used, and highlights generic issues relating to interpreting food authenticity testing results.

Food authenticity testing part 2: Analytical techniques, which gives describes specific analytical techniques, their applications, strengths and weaknesses.

This paper describes the principles, different configurations, applications, strengths and limitations of some of the more common analytical techniques used in food authenticity testing:
• Mass spectrometry
• Stable isotope mass spectrometry
• DNA analysis
• Nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometry
• Spectroscopy.

Generic strengths and limitations of food authenticity test methods, particularly those relating to methods comparing against reference databases of authentic samples, are discussed in “Food authenticity testing: The role of analysis”. It also describes the difference between targeted and untargeted analysis.

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Ensuring Food Supply Chain Integrity

This review paper gives the some of the outcomes of two EU FP7 Projects - EDEN and SNIFFER on the development of food defence analyses in the food chain. Food defence guidelines have been developed based on a parallel system to food safety HACCP analysis which include systems such as vulnerability analysis and critical control points (VACCP), and threat assessment critical control points (TACCP). Once mapping of the gaps and needs had been carried out, a secondary aim of the food defence work in the EDEN project was to test new technologies both targeted and untargeted that could be used for food defence purposes. The SNIFFER project (Sensory devices network for food supply chain security) addressed problems related to the detection of biological and chemical agents in the food supply chain, by looking at commercially available sensors in a sensor network that could be deployed at vulnerable points in the food supply chain. 

Food defence practices can help prevent deliberate contamination, be it motivated by economic, revenge or ideological reasons. Food defence should therefore be an integral part of food supply chain integrity and not just an afterthought in the wake of an incident. The detection tools investigated by EDEN and SNIFFER have potential, but a wider range of contaminants and food matrices needs to be investigated before these tools could be broadly adopted.


Read the full paper at: Food Defence Analysis

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I wanted to inform all members that Selvarani Elahi will be giving a presentation on the Food Authenticity Network at the Preventing Food Fraud Conference.

As a result, the organisers have agreed that any member of the Network, who wishes to attend the Conference held at One America Square,17 Crosswall, London EC3N 2LB on 22 February 2018, will receive a £200 discount.

You will need to enter the discount code  “FoodAuthenticity” on the registration form to get your discount

Information about the programme and speakers can be found here, and for a registration form on this link.

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Detecting Food Authenticity and Integrity

Detecting Food Authenticity and Integrity is a joint Analyst and Analytical Methods themed collection of research papers showcasing the latest discoveries and developments in detecting food authenticity and integrity; including the analysis and detection of food fraud, contamination, adulteration and spoilage. There are papers on:

  1. A new PCR method for horsemeat detection and quantification.
  2. Rapid quantitative detection methods for rapid on-site food fraud analysis - moving out of the laboratory and into the food supply chain.
  3. Assessment for the fitness of purpose utilisation of 5 hydroxymethyl 2 furfural quantification analysis in FAPAS proficiency tests.
  4. Hyperspectral imaging in tandem with multivariant analysis and image processing for non-invasive detection and visualisation of pork adulteration in minced beef.
  5. Integration of colorimetric and SERS detection for rapid screening and validation of melamine in milk.

The papers are available from the on-line journals at:

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