This article outlines some of the food fraud incidents in Ghana in particular, and West Africa. These include the addition of Sudan IV to crude palm oil (a popular cooking oil in W. Africa), meat and fish treated with formaldehyde to falsify its freshness, rice chaff packaged as high-grade rice, and milk powder with no trace of milk in it. It appears that fraud is on the increase in W Afica.
To combat this an Africa Centre for Food Fraud and Safety (AfriFoodinTegrity) has been established by University of Cape Coast, Ghana and collaborates with IGFS-QUB (Queens University Belfast). Rapid, onsite and non‑destructive fingerprinting tests have been developed for palm oil quality and rice.
Research is being conducted into new methods to assess palm oil safety and quality, to authenticate the origin of cocoa beans using handheld near infrared (NIR) spectrometers, to determine egg freshness using spectral fingerprinting, and to classify cocoa bean quality using portable NIR spectroscopy.
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