This page is for member news and announcements related to food authenticity. Members are invited to post brief articles or announcements concerning new products or services that may help other members monitor, detect or manage food authenticity issues. Links to press releases or more detailed articles on members' own websites are encouraged.


Posts on this page will not be moderated but if other members feel that a post is inapproriate they may, as for any other posts on the site, inform the site administration team.



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It is a requirement by all GFSI (Global Food Safety Imitative) benchmarked food safety standards and many retailer supplier requirements, to carry out a food fraud vulnerability assessment of a food manufacturers entire supply chain with a very strong emphasis on ranking raw materials for potential vulnerability.  The expected outcome of the identification of any potential fraud, is the implementation of mitigation strategies/control measures, to reduce the risk of fraud.    In 2016, Clare Winkel at ICS, developed a risk assessment and ranking method that has been used to assess approximately 800 raw materials for vulnerability to food fraud. This method is based on 3 independent variables: likelihood X detectability X profitability, with the outcome of a single numerical score, that can be easily ranked. In 2023 the team at ICS utilized the food fraud risk assessment method, to develop an online tool to bring automation, efficiency consistency to the process: Food Fraud Scorecard.
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This week we have heard in the news that the Strand Palace Hotel has been fined for serving a Food Hypersensitive customer a dessert in 2019 which was not supposed to contain nuts, however it appears there was a possible mix up with another similar dessert and incorrect labelling was used in error.

The four-star Strand Palace Hotel and Restaurants, which sits opposite Somerset House, has been convicted of health and safety breaches. Bosses were ordered to pay a £50,000 fine, with more than £15,000 in costs to Westminster council, which brought the prosecution, and a £5,000 compensation payment to the customer.

There appears to have been an error in the supply chain and ingredients from a similar dish where used which did not contain nuts, when the specific dish served did contain nuts - due diligence in checking labelling and the supply chain labelling is just one gateway, and delivery of the correct product is another!

Could this be your hotel or restaurant? Our Mock Trial Experience demonstrates the sentencing of a Food Allergy prosecution on 26 September will look at how you can monitor your processes, with gateways throughout your procedures to ensure Near Misses are picked up on and reviewed on a regular basis no matter how unimportant they may seem!

Our third event will be back in the room, where delegates will be able to network and participate in the proceedings.  We will have the court room scenario of a defendant, hotelier who is prosecuted after a catalogue of failures, resulting in a near fatality with a FHS customer receiving CPR, and hospital treatment after an adrenaline pen was dispensed.


There will be a prosecution and defence barristers in attendance with a judge presiding over the sentencing hearing.  The audience will participate as the jury making the decisions on the seriousness of the offence, to set the fine, and imprisonment if appropriate.

In addition, we will have a range of speakers including the Food Standards Agency update on what’s coming next. Belinda Stuart-Moonlight on what went wrong in the tragic death of Celia Marsh when she purchased a vegan wrap from Pret-a-Manger, Belinda, an expert witness will review the inquest findings and lessons learnt.  Iain Ferris will walk us through Improvement Notices from a Hospitality and Local Authorities perspective, and how they can work together to keep the FHS customer safe. 

The agenda can be accessed here

No restaurant plans to cause an allergic reaction to their customers, but it’s something you should seriously consider within your risk assessment planning.

Food Business Operations (FBO) should review EVERY aspect of safety within their business and consider worse case scenario’s which could cause fatalities or serious reactions.

 A similar situation to the Strand palace happened recently to a colleague who is allergic to one of the more common food allergens, when they attended a dinner.  They stated at each stage of the planning (in writing weeks before and on the day in person) about their allergy, with a real focus on the seriousness/severity (i.e., possibly fatal). They were assured that their food was 'safe' from the allergen and the venue was 'well aware of their situation’.

Unfortunately, they had a very severe reaction, with EPIPEN adrenaline needles being administered together with CPR within minutes of the anaphylactic shock (on the floor of the location, mere yards from the dinner table). Fortunately, they survived, albeit after an immediate hospital admission.  Two months on they are still experiencing serious physical and mental effects from the attack.

Questions are asked, was there a policy? were staff trained?    If these questions were answered as yes, where did it go wrong and where could it go wrong for your business?

Food Allergy Aware is offering your staff the opportunity to participate in a Mock Trial Food Allergy Prosecution Experience on Tuesday 26 September at the Heart of England Conference Centre.

“I wish that I never needed to visit any food service establishments to conduct food allergy training and that restaurants were totally safe for those with allergies, but we continually hear about mistakes, bad practice and companies who are not aware of the risks. Until food allergies are taken seriously everywhere we will continue to raise awareness, train, and educate.

Participating in the mock trial really brings home all the areas where mistakes can happen!

Check out event by clicking here – Early bird rates in place until 31 May 2023 so book early to save money, group discounts available

Click on the following link to find out the Strand Palace news item -



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Food & Agri Weekly Update Friday 28 Oct

The new PM & new cabinet, what does it mean for food & Agri? ASA adjudications and making marketing communications clear enough. The new avian flu support package is launched today to support bird producers. New online food safety charter launched. Check your food safety as a €250m civil suit is launched in France and finally food fraud in supply chain, what to check for. 



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Through a joint effort, the two companies have developed a highly advanced chemical fingerprinting analysis method based stable isotope ratios. The first markets to be offered evidence-based transparency based on this new analysis tool will be the seafood market and the dietary supplement market, where the method already has been tested and validated. To verify if a salmon product is organic or not seems to be a popular application so far, based on feedback from pilot testing with commercial partners.
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The future is here! We at SG Isotech simply call it the MAGIC BOX


SparkleEIM is a totally autonomous universal instrument which can replace several very expensive peripherals and instruments for isotopic analysis. Now with SparkleEIM customers don't need HPLC, EA, Equilibration peripherals or NMR so that they could detect and authenticate wine, honey, strong spirits, fruit juices, fruit concentrates, beverage waters, etc... With SparkleEIM you can simply determine d13C values in solid and liquid samples, d18O values in wine, fruit juice and/or beverage waters, d18O value in ethanol, ethanol dDn value of non-exchangeable hydrogen in wine, fermented fruit juice, strong spirit, fermented honey ethanol and to detect very easily adulteration and additions of materials with different botanical origin. Further you can detect illegal addition of water to wine samples and much, much more... SparkleEIM coupled to your IRMS unit can give you all necessary analytical information for which until now you had to buy very expensive NMR, and full IRMS configuration containing HPLC peripheral, EA and equilibration technique for determination of d18O value in beverage water. Now SparkleEIM represents the ONE RING to bind them all in only ONE instrument and give you better performance!


EIM technology references:

EIM-IRMS has better repeatability standard deviation for Hydrogen than standard IRMS Hydrogen measurement. EIM-IRMS rSTDEV= max 1 promil. At the Directorate for National Reference Laboratories of Republic of Serbia we have obtained EIM-IRMS champion results for repeatability standard deviation of 0,2 promil!! This puts EIM-IRMS on the throne as the most accurate isotopic technique on planet Earth, even better than NMR!

EIM-IRMS interlaboratory testing:

EIM-IRMS brochure:

Russians confirmed that EIM-IRMS eats NMR for breakfast!

SparkleEIM with our OXYPrep sample preparation unit can give d18O values in wine and beverage water as good as equilibration technique coupled to IRMS:

EIM-IRMS honey authenticity testing: 

for more information and quotes you can contact us at or

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Combat food fraud: Meet Misa

Misa (Metrohm Instant SERS Analyser) is a new, portable instrument for rapid, presumptive testing of foodstuffs at the point of sampling. Smaller than a shoe box, this new solution can be taken anywhere and gives public authorities and retailers the possibility to check all kinds of foodstuffs for notorious adulterants, residues of banned, highly toxic pesticides and herbicides or even illegal growth hormones in a few seconds. It is operated by a simple App and can be used by anyone with only a minimum of sample preparation required. Several free Application Notes prove the validity of the Misa system.

Economically Motivated Adulteration (EMA) of food is a costly problem harming people all over the world. Notorious suspects are:
  • Industrial dyes used in brightly colored candies
  • Pesticides residues on fruits and vegetables
  • Illicit pharmaceuticals used to mimic traditional  herbal medicines
  • Illegal growth hormones in meat

Metrohm is pleased to present a range of free applications to detect artificial colourants, residues of pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides that are banned by many public authorities due to their suspected carcinogenic nature.

if you would like to know more see, the link below: 

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Purity-IQ is a Canadian biotechnology company based in Mississauga, Ontario. It is committed to innovation in research and development and in the commercialization of practical and affordable scientifically validated quality assurance standards and tools, designed to further support brand product claims related to identity, authenticity, and purity. Purity-IQ focuses on commodities and inputs for the food, drug, beverage, natural health products and cannabis industries.   
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According to the Botanical Adulterants Prevention Program (BAPP) new bulletin, extra virgin olive oil is still being listed among the most common food frauds worldwide. The distinctive sensory profile, and its reputation as a healthy source of dietary fats has made olive oil a premium product, which is why it’s become a target for fraudsters.

The problem even affects those varieties bearing the coveted Protected designation of origin (PDO) and Protected geographical indication (PGI) stamps indicating the precise geographical origin of a particular extra virgin olive oil to ensure the quality of that region’s agricultural products, and which are subjected to more strict controls.

That’s why a number of regulation and standards have been introduced which aim to reduce the amount of fraudulent olive oil on the market. This includes the EU’s Regulation (EU) 2568/91, standards of the International olive oil council (IOC) and CODEX alimentarius STAN 33–1981. However it’s a new initiative from The European Union Horizon 2020 which might help turn the tide in the producers and consumers’ favour.

Starting in September 2016, Project OLEUM aims to better guarantee olive oil quality and authenticity through improved methods for detecting and preventing olive oil fraud. Determining the authenticity of olive oil with traditional methods was problematic because its fatty acid composition overlaps with that of several other cheaper oils.

“Research will also focus on developing new instrumental analytical methods for identifying illegal blends of olive oils with other vegetable oils or lower quality products, for evaluating freshness and predicting best-before date, and for monitoring compliance with the labelled geographical origin and the EU health claim on polyphenols.”

One of the new methods for detection, is Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry. This method is able to detect adulteration due to the differences in isotope ratio between different sources of olive oil. Isotope analysis of the H, C and O compositions of bulk oil or oil sub-components is used because the isotopic ratios of H, C and O change with the botanical origin and with the climatic and geographical characteristics of the location where the plant was grown.

Using the advanced technology of Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry is a powerful way to identify and thus prevent extra virgin olive oil adulteration and criteria relating to this technique may be expected to appear in the appropriate Codex standards in the future.

LGC Proficiency Testing’s Food Chemistry (QFCS) scheme and now Forensic Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry (FIRMS) scheme offer samples relating to olive oil authenticity and quality.

The new FIRMS 1 sample allows participants to test their ability to measure differences in isotope ratio between different sources of olive oil.

Click here to see the range of LGC Proficiency Testing Olive Oil Samples -


(Author: Dominic Keely, LGC)

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