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Behr’s Academy (D) organised a one day symposium on „Food Fraud“ and its prevention on May 23rd in Frankfurt (D). Here are some notes respectivley on food fraud and the new IFS 6.1 standard.

All major trading standards meanwhile included measures to prevent from fraudulent food manipulation. The new IFS standard 6.1. Launched in November 2017 even dedicated an own chapter 4.21 to this topic. The symposium gave valuable hints how to set up a risk assessment, what kind of tools shall be used and finally what analytical possibilities exist, to ensure that a manipulation can be detected in time or even can be prevented. AGROLABGROUP was the only representative from the group of commercial routine labs and therefore the ca. 35 participants from food industry tool the chance to discuss the practical analytical aspects with our specialist Dr Frank Mörsberger at this occasion.

In an illustrative presentation Dr Ulrich Busch from the Bavarian Governmental Food inspection lab (LGL) explained by which methods the official food control bodies can find manipulations on raw materials and food products, using sophisticated methods. The good message for you: AGROLAB GROUP is already using the same techniques in routine.

If a product is officially revealed as “faked”, then the damage for a company can become huge – even if it is not directly responsible, but became a sacrifice of criminals itself.

New IFS Standard 6.1 dedicates the topic "Food-Fraud Prevention"

To avoid any trouble and to protect retailers and consumers from food fraud the IFS Standard 6.1 dedicated an own chapter 4.21 to food fraud prevention. It requests to set up an independent risk assessment program similar to food safety assessment (HACCP) . The basis is a vulnerability analysis that should be done by a food fraud assessment team in each company preferentially with participants from purchasing, warehouse, quality management and perhaps some legal experts.

Besides many practical tips by the speaker Mrs. Ute Wedding there was also the recommendation to consult the world corruption index for evaluation of risks for origin and towards the purchasing managers to evaluate the price development for untypical changes – raising or decreasing untypically, as this can give a valuable hint for potential food fraud activities.

From July 2018 the new standard will be basis for coming audits

From July 2018 the new standard will be basis for coming audits, however it was told that no major deviations shall be issued within the coming 12 months to allow companies who are not yet fully prepared to finish their assessment.

Each and every raw material, processing aid, packaging material has to be checked for the individual risk to become manipulated. Depending on the risk level it will be no longer sufficient to rely on document approval, but also analytical measures have to be defined to ensure authenticity and geographical origin of critical raw materials.

Here AGROLABGROUP enters the stage by offering sophisticated, individualised and efficient solutions for analytical food fraud prevention. A rather ingenious instrument will be the chemical fingerprinting by NMR technology, which is applicable to almost each organic matrix. The fingerprint is unique and cannot be manipulated. It reflects the complete and complex composition of any food. It can and should become integral part of any purchase specification of a critical compound in future. It allows a fast and simple comparison of sample and delivered bulk volume and will confirm conformity within a couple of hours in an emergency case. Thee analysis itself lasts ca. 20min.. Ask our experts for detailed information. The data once take are stored in a database electronically and can be evaluated even years later if necessary.

Fingerprints of your products can decrease your risks

The geographical origin can be approved relatively simple with a >95% certainty making use of the stable isotope ratios that reflect the geological and climatically environment of the region where a sample has been collected based on the comparison with authentic reference samples that have been identified and their data stores in a customised data base hosted by our partner lab.

Just let drop some information at critical suppliers, that you are using fingerprinting technology performed by AGROLAB GROUP and your risk of becoming a sacrifice of food manipulators will drop significantly. That food fraud indeed is a real threat, we do not deed to explain here. 

Your Plus: 

  • Chemical fingerprinting batch-to batch control and sample vs. bulk comparison by NMR
  • Geographical origin analysis and authenticity approvals for raw materials, veg. oils, meat, fish, grains, fruit & vegetables honey, juice, spices etc. partly in cooperation with our partner labs AlNuMed and IMPRINT Analytics by IRMS, NMR, PCR as well as in combination with further techniques.

AGROLAB FITS - Food IntegrityTesting Services


Author: Dr. Frank Mörsberger