authenticity (11)

4223074748?profile=RESIZE_710xThe content of the endosperm of the coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) contains “coconut water”. This practically sterile liquid, which is prized for its delicate, albeit labile, flavour when fresh, has had a recent dramatic increase in global demand. This review examines  the variances in natural composition, maturity, processing-induced compositional changes, adulterations, product recalls, classical and instrumental methods of analysis and on the available composition standards of coconut water. The review also makes recommendations on the analytical approaches to verifying the authenticty and determination of possible adulterants, but also given the variation of composition with maturity, that  a weight of evidence approach should be taken in the assessment of authenticity.

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CBD - cannabidiol - isn't marketed as medicinal cannabis. It doesn't have a psychoactive element that makes the user high. Some studies indicate it can help with childhood epilepsy seizures, and other people think it helps them too.

There has been a spike in demand within the last twelve months, according to manufacturers. Non-medicinal CBD is now on sale in High Street shops across the country, including chemists. But the National Pharmacy Association says the products need clearer information and better checks on content.

 Cannabidiol oil is being added to a range of products - from water, to chocolate, to make-up, tea and coffee. Manufacturers claim sales in the UK are as much as £300m at the moment.

It's illegal to print any health claims on the products, but it's a grey area as to who checks the ingredients, or the amount of CBD oil actually contained in each product, many of which can be very expensive. CBD is classed as a food supplement, so it's governed by the Food Standards Agency. FSA said it expects "companies to comply with the novel foods process, which includes submitting safety information about their products"."The FSA is considering the best way to ensure CBD food-related products currently on the market move towards compliance," it added.

In the meantime, customers buying any CBD product have no guarantees if the product is safe, or indeed if it contains any CBD oil at all.

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An introduction to DNA melting curve analysis

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This e-seminar, entitled “An introduction to DNA melting curve analysis”, describes the principles behind, as well as best practice guidelines for the application of the post-PCR analytical method of DNA melting curve analysis. The information presented will provide the viewer with a general introduction to PCR-based DNA melting analysis as a method for food authenticity testing, and provide guidance on how to design, implement and analyse PCR DNA melting assay data. Topics covered will include the principles underpinning DNA melting analysis, designing PCR DNA melting assays, examples of PCR instruments compatible with DNA melting analysis, and guidance on troubleshooting. Those who should consider viewing this e-seminar include individuals currently working within the foods molecular testing area, particularly representatives from UK Official Control Laboratories, industry and members of organisations associated with the UK official control network.

View e-seminar here.

The production of this e-seminar was funded by Defra, FSA, FSS and BEIS under the Joint Knowledge Transfer Framework for Food Standards and Food Safety Analysis.

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Fish and meat are highly perishable foods, requiring both proper technologies for quality preservation and rapid methods for analysis. In this review, the most commonly applied techniques to preserve the quality of fish and meat products are first presented. The main methods used to assess both quality and authenticity of such products are then discussed. A special focus is placed on the fluorescence spectroscopy as a rapid, non-destructive, highly sensitive and selective technique, which can indicate the effect of different presevation methods on quality and authenticity.

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As the European Union has committed to only accept authenticated “sustainably sourced” palm oils, it is important to ensure that such imported oils are really from the declared source, preferably via proven analytical methods. This full review looks at the legal requirements for the traceability and authentication of palm oil, and assesses some new and emerging chemically-based technologies that should contribute to improving the monitoring of palm oil and other vegetable oil supply chains in Europe and elsewhere. 

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In a move that customers have labelled very fishy, the Chinese government has ruled that rainbow trout can now be labelled and sold as salmon.

The seemingly bizarre move comes after complaints earlier this year that rainbow trout was being mislabelled.

In May, media reported that much of what was sold as salmon in China was actually rainbow trout, to widespread consternation from fish-buyers.

But instead of banning vendors from deceiving their customers, the China Aquatic Products Processing and Marketing Alliance (CAPPMA), which falls under the Chinese ministry of agriculture, has ruled that all salmonidae fish can now be sold under the umbrella name of “salmon”, reports the Global Times.

Rainbow trout and salmon are both salmonidae fish and look quite similar when filleted. However, salmon live in salt water and rainbow trout live in fresh water.

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Imprint Analytics GmbH have published a paper in the Journal of Food Science and Technology on the analysis of coconut waters for authenticity testing. Coconut water is becoming more prevalent as a healthy, low carb alternative to other beverages and is defined as a juice by the European Fruit Juice Association (AIJN).

The study analysed 30 authentic coconut waters, that were extracted from coconuts in the lab, and 24 commercial coconut waters purchased from shops to investigate the detection of added C-4 plant sugars to the drinks.

Find the study here.

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Researchers in Ireland have published a paper which discusses current and evolving techniques to determine geographical origins of meat. The paper explores applications of meat authenticity techniques including spectrscopy, stable isotope ratio analysis, and the measurement of compounds derived from the animals' diets. The authors also discuss challenges in interpretation of the data.

Read the abstract here.

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Mānuka honey is the monofloral product of Leptospermum scoparium, a New Zealand native plant, said to possess ‘non-peroxide anti-bacterial activity’ , making it expensive and greatly sought-after world-wide. In this review, methods for the determination of the authenticity of samples of mānuka honey are examined. Suggestions are made as to how to authenticate, or otherwise, the label claims for a given sample of mānuka honey.

Read the full review at: Review of Manuka Honey Authenticity

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N. Ireland Tech. Company Arc-Net is developing a blockchain technology to improve the traceability and authentication of food. Blockchain technology is a cloud-based platform that is designed to have high levels of security and flexibility, which protectively marks, authenticates and tracks foods across the whole supply chain. The company has received a £2 million investment to develop the technology.

Read the article at: NI Company Blockchain investment

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