Food fraud, food adulteration, food crime, food integrity, food authenticity and food counterfeiting are all commonly applied terms to a problem that has existed since the commercialisation of food. Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), FSA (Food Standards Agenc)y and FSS (Food Standards Scotland) commissioned the Food Authenticity Network, via LGC, to undertake an examination of published literature to identify the major definitions related to food fraud and global standardisation activities in this area (with a focus on terminology and testing methods).

You can read the report here, and has been added to the Research section of the website. 

The information from this project has been sent to the following standardisation groups, which are seeking to develop harmonised definitions for food fraud and related terms:

  • Working Group 1 (Concepts, terms, and definitions) of CEN Technical Committee 460 (Food Authenticity).
  • The Chair of the Codex Committee on Food Import and Export Inspection and Certification Systems (CCFICS) electronic working group on food fraud tasked with producing ‘Guidance on the Prevention and Control of Food Fraud’ for reference.

The most commonly used definitions for food fraud and related terms have been reproduced on this page.

Food Fraud

Food fraud is a collective term used to encompass the deliberate and intentional substitution, addition, tampering or misrepresentation of food, food ingredients or food packaging: of false or misleading statements made about a product, for economic gain.

Related Terms

The Elliott Review (Elliott, 2014): “food authenticity is about ensuring that food offered for sale is of the nature, substance, and quality expected by the purchaser”.