Tag Archives: forensic analysis

Susanne Kuehne, Decernis
Food Fraud Quick Bites

The Not-So-Green Pistachio

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

Organic produce is a lucrative and growing market and an easy target for food fraud. Mislabeled organically certified pistachios were bringing in up to 80% more revenue than conventional nuts, resulting in a €6 million profit. European officials including Europol uncovered the illegal operation and made 14 arrests in Spain. Forensic analysis showed that the pistachios contained illegal pesticides.


  1. Europol. (December 18, 2020). “€6 million in illegal profit of fraudulent of fraudulent organic pistachio sales”. Press release. Europol.
McCrone, Food Safety Tech

Forensic Analyses Provider McCrone Associates at the Food Safety Consortium

McCrone, Food Safety Tech

McCrone Associates (MA), an ISO/IEC 17025 accredited lab, will be participating in the 2016 Food Safety Consortium. Dr. Kathleen Martin will present “Particulate Contamination in Food–Or, Was that Supposed to be Crunchy?” on December 8 at 11:30 a.m. Dr. Martin will discuss multiple microscopy methods of identifying solid phase contaminants in foods and packaging. Her primary points include understanding the overall analysis process for particulate contaminant identification, an overview of the information provided by selected types of instrumentation, and case study examples showing how this analytical process is applied to real samples.

Visit our exhibit and meet with project scientists to explore what your needs are, especially with regard to preparing for U.S. FDA inspectors who will be checking for compliance with FSMA regulations. MA has extensive experience assisting pharmaceutical industry clients in meeting their regulatory obligations, and has been able to use that understanding to assist clients in the food industry. Forensic investigation is a key component of the work we do, and although forensic analyses are initially more costly than typical bulk analyses, identification of foreign material contamination can alleviate safety concerns and identify the root cause of your problem, saving you a lot more in the long term.

Your company may want to handle its contaminant issues internally; however, you may not be fully prepared. Hooke College of Applied Sciences, the educational unit of The McCrone Group (TMG), provides short training courses for industrial analysts to help your internal lab staff sharpen their contamination detection skills. The trusted advisors at McCrone Microscopes & Accessories, TMG’s instrument sales unit, are also able to help determine what your instrumentation needs are for your specific materials and methods. Please stop by our table and let us know how we can help improve your process.