If you are reading this blog, it is likely that you are fully acquainted with food fraud, but let’s just take a moment to set the scene.
Food fraud is by no means a new phenomenon and goes as far back as the middle ages, with the concept of tampering or misrepresenting food or ingredients for profit becoming rampant in the 18th and 19th centuries. Although the safety of our food supply has greatly improved since then, food fraud is still very much with us and continues to be an issue, not only because of the possible harmful side effects for consumers but also due to ethical and religious concerns around food origin.
Food fraud costs the global food industry an estimated $10 – $15 billion per year (US), affecting around 10% of all commercially sold food products (Grocery Manufacturers Association). In most cases, it involves replacing a high-value product or ingredient with a lower quality alternative, and olive oil, honey, milk, saffron, fruit juice, coffee, tea, meat, fish, and grain-based products top the charts.
So, what needs to be done to protect the industry and consumers against these counterfeit or adulterated food products?
Ultimately, government regulators are responsible for ensuring food safety, and many initiatives are in place and in the pipeline to try to tackle this very complex issue. That said, finding and proving food fraud will always be a top priority for regulators, and the need for more reliable and more efficient identification methods is greater than ever.
Introducing High-Resolution LC-MS/MS for Fast and Dependable Food Fraud Testing
There are several analytical methods available to assess the authenticity of ingredients, such as PCR and ELISA, but few match the performance of high-resolution LC-MS/MS in delivering fast, accurate results across a broad variety of food products and adulteration types.
Where other methods are commonly known to deliver false negative or false positive results and suffer from sample degradation that impacts on the reliability of results, LC-MS/MS does not. It is sensitive enough to detect contamination at very low levels and diverse enough to detect multiple species simultaneously. It also utilizes multiple peptide or lipid markers from each species to help improve reliability in the results—first time, every time.
SCIEX LC-MS/MS offers powerful food fraud testing solutions from how you can cut through the complexities of assessing authenticity with rapid and reliable food and beverage profiling:
- Failsafe Food Fraud Detection: Understand how the SWATH® Acquisition workflow significantly enhances detection of possible illicit adulterant in ingredients
- Saffron Origin: See the latest approaches using 2D and 3D techniques for effective classification of saffron and its geographical source
- Liquor Authenticity Testing: Find out how QTRAP® technology and Principal Components Analysis (PCA) differentiates between liquors
- Health Products Adulterants: Discover how we screen additives in 68 common Chinese health products using the QTRAP® 4500 LC-MS/MS System
- Sildenafil Residue in Honey: See how the QTRAP workflow delivers MS/MS data with library confirmation for honey adulterated with sildenafil