Tag Archives: European Commission

Susanne Kuehne, Decernis
Food Fraud Quick Bites

A Sticky Criminal Endeavor

By Susanne Kuehne
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Susanne Kuehne, Decernis
Honey Fraud, Bee
Find records of fraud such as those discussed in this column and more in the Food Fraud Database.
Image credit: Susanne Kuehne

Honey harvest in Europe is predicted to be down by 40% in 2020. This disastrous harvest is caused by a combination of issues, including flood, draught and climate change in a variety of regions. One third of honey into the EU is imported, and cheap, sometimes fake imports are undercutting EU producers’ prices. The European Commission’s Joint Research Centre states that at least 14% of honeys in the EU are adulterated. Two recent incidents of honey adulteration in Greece show that this is a serious problem and possibly an indication of more fraudulent activity to come.

Resources

  1. Askew, K. (November 9, 2020). “Honey producers stung by ‘worst harvest in decades’ call for crackdown on adulterated imports”. Food Navigator.
  2. Hellenic Food Authority. “Two cases of honey fraud in Greece.”
Susanne Kuehne, Decernis
Food Fraud Quick Bites

A Truly Bitter Herb

By Susanne Kuehne
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Susanne Kuehne, Decernis
Food fraud, oregano blossom
Find records of fraud such as those discussed in this column and more in the Food Fraud Database. Image credit: Susanne Kuehne.

The European Commission’s Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) Portal shows a notification about the use of olive leaves in oregano in Turkey. Addition of cheaper bulking agents to herbs and spices is a common way of achieving a higher profit margin for pricier herbs. The olive leaves were classified as an unauthorized novel ingredient; however, they are known to be used for the adulteration of oregano. An investigation of commercial oregano samples showed that one quarter of samples were adulterated with other plant leaves, and two of the samples didn’t even contain any oregano.

Resources

  1. European Commission RASFF Portal. (August 14, 2020). Notification details – 2020.3270 “Unauthorised novel food ingredient olive leaves in oregano from Turkey, via the Netherlands”.
  2. Black, C. et al. (November 1, 2016) “A comprehensive strategy to detect the fraudulent adulteration of herbs: The oregano approach”. Food Chemistry.