igfs (4)

McCormick Responds to QUB's Sage Findings

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On 23 October, I posted the study carried out by IGFS at Queens University Belfast (QUB) on behalf of the Food Industry Intelligence Network (FIIN), which showed that 25% of the sage herb samples tested were adulterated, and the level of bulking ranged from 29 -58%. Now the Vice President of McCormick has responded to the results of this small survey.

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Adulteration of the Herbs Is Still Occurring

In 2015, IGFS (Institute for Global Food Securty) at Queens University Belfast in cooperation with the Consumer Organisation Which? conducted a survey of oregano, which found 25% of the samples tested were adulterated. This year, a small follow-up survey was carried out on 20 samples of oregano, and only one sample was found to be adulterated, which clearly shows a huge improvement from the earlier 2015 survey.

In parallel with the survey on oregano, in August and September this year, a snapshot survey of the herb sage was undertaken, and 19 samples bought from major online retailers; all the well-known UK supermarkets; and smaller, independent shops such as ethnic grocery stores. In this survey, just over 25 percent of all the samples tested were adulterated. The level of bulking out of the sage samples with non-food materials such as olive leaves and other tree leaves, ranged from 29% to a staggering 58%. However, none of the brands sold by the big UK supermarket chains was found to be fraudulent, and only some sage sold by online retailers and smaller independents was found to have been adulterated. 

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2018414?profile=RESIZE_710xCibus Analytical will commercialise research completed at IGFS, Queens University Belfast, and will not only offer a laboratory testing service, but also innovative, portable testing tools to allow customers to rapidly test for food authenticity and safety across global supply chains. The £0.57 million seed funding has been led by QUBIS, the commercialisation arm of Queen’s University, and also involves a number of investors with a range of backgrounds from the food sector and support from Innovate UK. Cibus Analytical was founded by IGFS researchers Prof Chris Elliott, Dr Terry McGrath, Dr Simon Haughey and Mrs Pamela Galvin-King. 

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This post-graduate course is the result of a partnership between the Institute for Global Food Security (IGFS) at Queen's University Belfast and multinational analytical laboratory instrument and software company Waters Corporation. It offers professionals the chance to learn remotely on a part-time basis from renowned experts to increase their knowledge of the threats to feed and food compromising food security, and also about the techniques and methods which can be used to confirm food safety and integrity. Topics include concerns around food fraud, authenticity and traceability, the links between chemical contaminants and human and animal health, the biological hazards and threats posed by animal feed and food, the various technologies used to enable rapid and early detection of food safety issues, and the current and future global food legislation needed to ensure and maintain sustainable food safety production. The course is currently accepting applications for October 2017 and February 2018 start dates.

Read the article and see a video at: On-line Masters in Food Fraud

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