Susanne Kuehne, Decernis
Food Fraud Quick Bites

It’s in Their DNA

By Susanne Kuehne
No Comments
Susanne Kuehne, Decernis

New technologies aid in the detection of food fraud.

Pepper, food fraud, DNA
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 have been an ongoing hot target for fraudulent activity, whether it is the addition of inedible substances like dyes, or bulking agents, such as brick powder, other plant material, sawdust and many other, potentially hazardous substances. A relatively new technology, next-generation sequencing (NGS), enables to analyze the DNA of complex samples such as spices and herbs. The DNA findings are compared to a database and allow to detect many thousands of species in one test. Currently, working groups are developing standardized methods for such authenticity tests.


  1. Woolfe, M. (July 13, 2021). “NGS (Next Generation Sequencing) is Helping to Prevent Fraud in the Herb and Spice Trade”. Food Authenticity Network.

About The Author

Susanne Kuehne, Decernis

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

For security, use of Google's reCAPTCHA service is required which is subject to the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.