Susanne Kuehne, Decernis
Food Fraud Quick Bites

Criminals in the Lab

By Susanne Kuehne
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Susanne Kuehne, Decernis

Laboratory analytical methods are targeted by adulteration criminals.

Testing methods, analysis
Find records of fraud such as those discussed in this column and more in the Food Fraud Database. Image credit: Susanne Kuehne

Herbs and botanical ingredients are a common target for fraud, especially during times of increased demand, for example caused by COVID-19. The Botanical Adulterants Prevention Program (BAPP) published an article describing some of the fraudulent methods that are used to intentionally create false results. The paper explains how deliberately manipulated plant extracts can fool lab methods like gas chromatography or high-performance liquid chromatography to produce results which make the analyzed product look legitimate.


  1. Nutraceuticals World. (October 30, 2020). “BAPP Publishes Article Detailing Adulteration Schemes Used to Fool Laboratory Analytical Methods”.

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