The risk of counterfeiting mainly occurs for economic reasons, as cheap and low-quality ingredients are added to increase the value of the product.
This type of counterfeiting occurs with products such as:
- Premium corn or fructose syrup with honey
- Alcoholic drinks with vinegar
In accordance with Adem Kulauzović, director of Automation de Domino Printing Sciencesan alternative protein market could represent a specific risk of counterfeiting for economic reasons.
Food fraud and adulteration of food are the main concern in situations of shortage of ingredients. Such as those caused by problems in supply chains or crop losses.
- It is no secret that the lack of ingredients it’s forcing brands to look beyond their secure supply chains which they usually use.
So there is an opportunity for counterfeiters to fill the gap, taking advantage of the higher cost of raw materials resulting from global demand.
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Risks of food fraud
Counterfeiting for economic reasons also includes contamination with products that are not suitable for human consumption.
An example of that was the melamine scandal that happened in 2008 in China, when formula milk was contaminated with melamine, which caused the death of six children.
Quality control testing developed after the melamine scandal. However, as well as counterfeits; Counterfeiters often know the tests that are likely to be administered and look for ways to circumvent them.
- The Food Standards Agency (FSA) The UK also highlighted the risks associated with the market for alternative sources of protein.
The FSA has identified alternative sources of protein, including insects, as one of several “emerging technologies that will impact the UK food system”.
And it stands out possible food safety risks associated with alternative protein sources, among which are the high risk of food fraud, contamination and toxicity.
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How to mitigate food fraud
Food fraud is a global problem and to combat it, it is necessary to take measures of cooperation between all participants in global supply chains.
For example, some food manufacturers have created a document on the prevention of food fraud which provides guidance to the sector on how to address this issue.
It is recommended that food business entities, suppliers and partners in the food value chain cooperate improve transparency and mainly:
- Identify and address supply chain vulnerabilities
- Include verification measures accordingly
- Develop collaboration tools that facilitate data sharing
In legal matters, There are very few regulatory requirements for the traceability of raw materials, including protein powders, at the batch level, but that could change soon.
In this regard, it is estimated that the next update of the United States Food Safety Modernization Act will include new traceability requirements for certain raw materials.
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