Analytical testing using product fingerprinting

eFOOD-Lab_International_01_2016

Analytical testing using product fingerprinting 36 1/2016 eFOOD-Lab international Global Food Safety Conference 2016 A holistic, cost-effective approach to food fraud detection and deterrence Author: Dr. Michèle Lees, MicheleLees@eurofins.com, Eurofins Analytics France SAS, Rue P.A. Bobierre - BP 42301, F-44323 Nantes Cedex 3, FRANCE, Phone: +33 2 51 83 21 07, Fax: +33 2 51 83 21 11, Web site: www.eurofins.com Since the so-called “horsegate” crisis in 2013, food fraud has become a hot topic. In fact the food industry was given its first wake-up call a few years earlier with the melamine incident in which several infants died after being fed adulterated milk formula. The adulteration and misrepresentation of food, however, has been going on since the earliest trade in foodstuffs, and with it the request for means of detecting fraudulent practices. Practicing in the mid-nineteenth century, British-born physician and chemist Arthur Hill Hassall spent a great deal of time and energy sampling and analysing different foods purchased from London shops and published his results in his book “Food: Its Adulterations and the Methods for their Detection” 1. This early work gave various examples of the use of microscopy to detect coffee bulked out with chicory or sawdust, or black lead added to enhance black tea. Much more recently, the European Commission funded a project called Food Authenticity: Issues and Methodologies 2 w hich w as l ed b y Eurofins and which resulted in the FAIM Handbook covering the major commodities such as meat, fish, cereals, fruit juices, and oils, and providing a complete list of analytical methods developed to deal with adulteration. Over twenty years later, huge advances in analytical technology have provided ever more sophisticated solutions to food authenticity issues. This has been driven not just by the pursuit for improved methods, better detection limits and faster response times, but also by need to keep up with the progressively devious adulteration practices of the food counterfeiters! The importance of a comprehensive analytical strategy in combating food fraud was recognized by the Food Fraud Think Tank, which was created in 2012 with support from GFSI and tasked with recommending to the GFSI board “how companies could strengthen their food


eFOOD-Lab_International_01_2016
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