Mark Woolfe's Posts (370)

Product DNA is a system of electronically recording up to 150 attributes about a product, which are verified by a third party, and entered into a "catalogue" so it can be checked at any point in the supply chain and even incorporated into retailers own data systems, as well as accessed by consumers. Thus it can assure product traceability along the entire supply chain, and having an agreed set of attributes allows much easier data sharing between manufacturers and retailers.

Retailers Tesco and Ocado have already signed up to this service, and Unilever.and  Nestlé are the latest companies to do so.

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The European Parliament have approved a report recommending that manufacturers of branded products can add a logo to inform consumer that the product has the same composition and quality across all of the EU. This is in response to concerns that some branded products are different in quality in some Eastern European MSs to the rest of the EU. The Food and Drink Europe (representing food manufacturers) have welcomed the report, but noted that there can be legitimate reasons for differences in branded products across MSs based on consumer preferences, sourcing of local ingredients and reformulation requirements.

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Russian researchers have published a method based on sugar profiles to determine wine authenticity. The glucose-fructose Iindex (GFI) and disaccharide content can be used as marker for wine from different grape varieties. The method can detect when extra grape must has been added before fermentation, as well as wines from arrested fermentation. For sweet wines the glycerol content has to be measured as well. 

  Read the full paper here

 

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Russian researchers have published a paper on their development of proteomic and peptide identification to identify pork, beef , horse and poultry in meat produced after slaughter. The methodology development can identify peptides which occur in specific tissues or fluids associated with meat species. The researchers are planning the next stage of using the peptide information of the raw materials to identify species in meat products.

  Read the full paper here

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Spain’s National Police and Civil Guard have seized hundreds of tons of expired jamón (ham) and other meat products that were about to be placed back in the market, and in some cases, they were already back on sale.In three separate raids conducted over the course of a few weeks, officers found that individuals and companies were apparently tampering with seals and labels to extend the shelf life of expired food products. 

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JRC's Knowledge Centre publishes a monthly summary on articles and news about food fraud and adulteration, and has just published its June 2018 Newsletter. The top stories cover: adulterated Verdicchio wine in Italy;false buffalo mozzarella cheese in Benelux supermarkets; and investigations into the French spice market revealed 51% of all samples subject to fraud with saffron being the highest number of fraudulent samples. 

Read the June 2018 summary here

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Coffee is currently the second largest commodity on the world market. Brazilian researchers have written a comprehensive review on the development and use of chromatograpy from paper to gas and hplc, and finally ultra-performance liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry to confirm adulteration and fraud in coffee.  

 Read the full review here

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Decernis buys USP’s Food Fraud Database

US-based technology and content solutions provider Decernis has acquired the Food Fraud Database from USP. USP's Global Strategic Marketing and Programme senior vice-president Salah Kivlighn said: “We are very pleased to have found an appropriate home for the Food Fraud Database, which hundreds of companies depend on to help support their efforts to prevent food adulteration". USP will continue to provide critical resources to help the industry, along with regulators and other stakeholders, verify the identity, quality and purity of food ingredients. The database is updated continuously with ingredients and related records, which are gathered from scientific literature, media publications, regulatory reports, judicial records and trade associations worldwide.

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Polish researchers have published a paper on the development of rapid, simple, and non-destructive analytical procedure for discrimination and authentication of whiskies originating from Scotland, Ireland and USA  as well as time of maturation (two, three, six and twelve years). Combination of data from Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) with statistical analysis was used to construct eight discriminant models. The models obtained permitted whiskies from Scotland, Ireland, and USA to be distinguished from each other, and 2 and 3 years old beverages from 6 and 12 years old whiskies. Results show that 100% of samples were correctly classified in models discriminating American and Scottish whiskies or 2-year-old and 6-year-old American whiskies. American whiskies were classified correctly in all models, which may suggest its considerable chemical difference compared to whisky produced in Scotland or Ireland. 

  Read the full paper here

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The EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) has assessed the counterfeiting losses for the wine and spirits sector, which was in the top five sectors for lost sales. The overall losses due to counterfeiting for 13 sectors amounts to Euros 60bn, corresponding to 7.5% of sales, and probably resulting in 434,00 less jobs because of reduced sales.

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U.S. labelling laws require that only species of the family Ictaluridae can be marketed as catfish. The lower production price of Pangasiidae, combined with changes in regulations over time, have resulted in high potential for species substitution and country of origin mislabelling among catfish products. The objective of this study was to conduct a market survey of catfish products sold at the U.S. retail level to examine species mislabelling and compliance with Country of Origin Labelling (COOL) regulations. A total of 80 catfish samples were collected from restaurants, grocery stores and fish markets in Orange County, CA. DNA was extracted from each sample and tested with a real-time PCR Kit for Ictaluridae spp. Samples that tested negative for Ictaluridae were tested with real-time PCR Kit for Pangasiidae spp. DNA barcoding was used as a final test in cases where species could not be identified with either of the real-time PCR assays. Overall, 7 of the 80 (9%) catfish products were found to be substituted with Pangasiidae species, these were attributed to 5 of the 40 restaurant samples and 2 of the 32 grocery store samples. In addition, 59% of grocery store samples were not compliant with COOL regulations. 

   Read the abstract here

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EU Regulation No. 1379/2013 states clearly that “the commercial designation of the species and its scientific name” must be shown whenever a fish sold along with its production method (wild or farmed) and where caught or raised. Fish traders in the port of Marseille were fined by Government fish inspectors sums varying from Euros 450 -1500  for not displaying all of this information including the scientific name.

However, the Mayor of Marseille related this occurrence to President Macron during a lunch with him last week. The President laughed and promised that the fines would not have to paid nor would the traders need to use the scientific (latin) names.

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Researchers at the University of Nebraska carried out an interesting robust study to examine how information about food fraud incidents affects consumers’ valuation of products. Specifically, the study examined:

- changes in consumers’ valuation of extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) after they received information about food fraud,

- how information about food fraud attributable to one country affects valuation for products from other countries, and

- how information about food fraud affects the valuation of olive oils in different price segments.

   Read the article at: consumer EVOO study

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Rapid DNA Meat Species Test Developed

Chinese researchers have  developed a very rapid (30 mins) DNA test that can detect multiple meat species including duck, chicken, cow, sheep and pig, which is easier, and requires less equipment than other techniques.  The method is based on recombinase polymerase amplification (RPA) – a rapid alternative to PCR developed by UK biotech TwistDx Ltd  combined with the nucleic acid stain SYBR green I produced by Life Technologies’ Molecular Probes subsidiary to visualise the results, and is carried out in a water bath at 37 degrees C. The method was able to detect 1 per cent pork adulteration in mutton or beef, and could also differentiate species in boiled, microwaved, pressure-cooked or fried meat samples.

  Read the article at: rapid DNA test for meat species                                                                                                                                          

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A new early warning system for fraud has been developed by Fera as part of the EU FoodIntegrity project. Vahid Mojtahed, Fera, gave a presentation on the new system at the ASSET 2018 Summit of Global Food Integrity, in Belfast, 28-31 May. The system takes data from the JRC European Media Monitoring system, which collects information on food fraud in 60 different languages from media and medical sources. The data is fed through a Bayesian network to compute the probabilities of food fraud developing in the supply chain. Mojtahed said that " with respect to adulteration and substitution of the main food categories, the system can detect anomalies 92% of the time in the active food supply chain 3-6 months before a fraud incident".

Read the article at: fraud early warning system

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Manuka honey is high value food because of its anti-bacterial properties, and hence it is often open to adulteration. New Zealand researchers have developed a new method based on using 4 chemical and 2 DNA markers that can authenticate monofloral and multifloral NZ Manuka honey and distinguish then from non-Manuka honey, Australian Manuka honey and honey from Leptospermum spp

Read the full paper here

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As part of the EU Project FoodIntegrity, Newcastle University carried out an in-depth consumer study with Chinese consumers on their attitude to food fraud and food safety following some high profile incidents. The results show that these incidents, which involved fatalities, have resulted in a lack of trust in the authenticity and safety of food produced in China. Many Chinese consumers now have an increased trust in imported foods from Europe and regard them as better quality and safer than their Chinese counterparts, although there are regional variations. However, it gives European food exporters the opportunity to capitalise on these concerns, and also know that Chinese consumers are willing to pay more for those products with indications and safeguards of authenticity. 

Read the article summarising the results and the full journal paper.

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The US Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) is urging consumers to avoid supplements made with ginkgo biloba, which are often adulterated and have largely been shown to be ineffective in preventing dementia and improving circulation. The CSPI sent 10 samples for analysis, and 6 of these had far less ginkgo than advertised or showed evidence of having been adulterated with cheaper plant material. CSPI have written to the FDA to take action on gingo supplements. There is also other evidence, that up to 70% of gingo supplements on the US market are adulterated because the leaves of the ginkgo tree are expensive, and a large quantity of leaves is needed to produce ginkgo extracts.. The adulteration is quite sophisticated consisting of using flavonol rich plant materials such as the Japanese pagoda tree and buckwheat extracts to arrive at the pharmacopeial standard of 24% flavonol glycosides and 6% diterpene lactones. 

    Read CSPI's Press Release and associated article

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Fruit content and fruit authenticity are crucial to informing the consumer about the quality and authenticity of jam. However, jam is one of the most difficult products to extract undegraded DNA that can be amplified from the fruit ingredients being an acid high sugar product. Czech researchers have tested three extraction methods - two commercial kits and the CTAB method on 14 different jams to find which one produced the most well-amplifiable DNA. 

       Read the full article at: DNA extraction of jam

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