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IFST has re-written its “Food authenticity testing” Information Statement and split it into two parts:

Food authenticity testing part 1: The role of analysis, which now covers the role of analytical testing within the context of an overall supply chain assurance strategy.

Analytical testing is a valuable tool in the armoury to assure food authenticity but cannot be used to identify every type of food fraud.  It is only one part of an overall strategy to mitigate fraud risk.

Many modern tests are based upon comparing a pattern of measured values in the test sample with patterns from a database of authentic samples. Interpretation is highly dependent on the robustness of the database, and whether it includes all possible authentic variables and sample types. This information may not be released by the laboratory.  Interpretation of results is rarely clear-cut, and analytical results are often used to inform and target further investigation (such as unannounced audits or mass-balance checks) rather than for making a compliance decision.

This paper describes where testing can and cannot be used, and highlights generic issues relating to interpreting food authenticity testing results.

Food authenticity testing part 2: Analytical techniques, which gives describes specific analytical techniques, their applications, strengths and weaknesses.

This paper describes the principles, different configurations, applications, strengths and limitations of some of the more common analytical techniques used in food authenticity testing:
• Mass spectrometry
• Stable isotope mass spectrometry
• DNA analysis
• Nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometry
• Spectroscopy.

Generic strengths and limitations of food authenticity test methods, particularly those relating to methods comparing against reference databases of authentic samples, are discussed in “Food authenticity testing: The role of analysis”. It also describes the difference between targeted and untargeted analysis.

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The ease of adulterating spices combined with the complexity of fraud detection makes the condiments highly vulnerable to fraud, a scientific study has found. Published in the journal Food Control, the research examined fraud vulnerabilities of eight companies in the spices supply chain using the SSAFE food fraud vulnerability assessment tool, which comprises 50 indicators categorised in opportunities, motivations, and control measures to provide a fraud vulnerability profile.
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To meet growing consumer demands, our food chain has become global, dynamic, heterogeneous, and more complex in nature. Foods once considered exotic or seasonal are now available year-round in developed markets. Consumer demands extend to food products that have credence claims such as sustainably sourced, fair-trade, non-GMO, organic, vegan, vegetarian, and more. But how can consumers verify these credence claims and be protected from food fraud? The need for greater supply chain transparency to increase consumer trust in safe, nutritious and authentic foods has never been more profound. Yet, globalisation of the supply chain is not the primary reason for food fraud, which exists within sovereign nations and may be rampant within free trade zones. The question is whether current laws and regulations are adequate to protect consumers, or whether they create an environment of “blind trust” where food fraud can flourish.

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This short paper reviews food traceability in food supply chain. There are four parts in this paper, including driving factors for food traceability, challenges behind the implementation of food traceability systems, techniques applied for food traceability and application of food traceability systems.

Read the review at: Food Traceability in the Supply Chain

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