Susanne Kuehne, Decernis
Food Fraud Quick Bites

Fraud Detection Coordination Across the Nations

By Susanne Kuehne
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Susanne Kuehne, Decernis

An EU-wide coordinated herb and spice marketing control plan has been published.

Herbs, Spices, food fraud
Find records of fraud such as those discussed in this column and more in the Food Fraud Database, owned and operated by Decernis, a Food Safety Tech advertiser. Image credit: Susanne Kuehne

Spices and herbs are sourced at a rate of 300,000 tons into the EU from places around the world, and fraudulent activity can happen in any steps along the supply chain. The European Commission’s control plan investigated nearly 2,000 samples of herbs and spices commonly targeted for fraud, such as oregano, cumin, turmeric, paprika, pepper and saffron, and found oregano to be the most manipulated, usually by the addition of olive leaves. Overall, the rate of 17% fraudulent products was down compared to other studies.


  1. Maquet, A., et al. (2021) “Results of an EU wide coordinated control plan to establish the prevalence of fraudulent practices in the marketing of herbs and spices”. European Commission Joint Research Centre Publications Repository.

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Susanne Kuehne, Decernis

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