Tag Archives: India

Susanne Kuehne, Decernis
Food Fraud Quick Bites

Deadly Fraudulent Libations

By Susanne Kuehne
No Comments
Susanne Kuehne, Decernis
counterfeit wine, food fraud
Find records of fraud such as those discussed in this column and more in the Food Fraud Database. Image credit: Susanne Kuehne

Counterfeit alcoholic beverages keep claiming lives, like in this latest case in the state of Punjab in India. To curb the consumption of alcohol, the Indian government has imposed high taxes on alcoholic beverages, with the effect of increased illegal alcohol production. Often, the alcohol is from a variety of sources like nuts and sugar cane and of poor quality, posing a health hazard. Officials raided numerous operations and arrested multiple suspects, including police officers and customs officials.

Resource

  1. Jamshaid, U. (August 2, 2020). “India’s Death Toll From Counterfeit Alcohol Rises To 86 – Authorities”.
Susanne Kuehne, Decernis
Food Fraud Quick Bites

Spreading False Claims

By Susanne Kuehne
No Comments
Susanne Kuehne, Decernis
Food fraud, spread
Find records of fraud such as those discussed in this column and more in the Food Fraud Database. Image credit: Susanne Kuehne.

In India, low-cholesterol or zero-cholesterol claims on product labels for spreads as well as their advertising must follow strict guidelines set by the Food Safety and Standards Authority India (FSSAI). At two Indian companies, nearly $100,000 worth of products was confiscated due to mislabeling. The spreads’ labels and nutrition panels falsely claimed that they were cholesterol free, while containing significant amounts of saturated fats.

Resources

  1. Neo, P. (February 11, 2020). Food Navigator-Asia. “Cholesterol crush: Major Indian dairy firms lose US$100,000 of products over false labelling claims”.
Kevin Kenny, Decernis
FST Soapbox

COVID-19 Supply Chain Disruptions on the Horizon

By Kevin Kenny
No Comments
Kevin Kenny, Decernis

On the one level, it’s still too early to see full supply chain stoppages, other than growing port and customs delays. While one does not need a crystal ball to see that significant issues are already on the horizon, it takes time for both positive and negative supply impacts to wend their way through the chain.

My company, Decernis, a FoodChain ID Company, provides a complete regulatory intelligence software suite that covers more than 100,000 global regulations in 219 countries, and as such, we have a unique global perspective on how the pandemic is going to affect the supply chain.

Among the countries to watch is India, which imposed a nationwide 21-day shutdown on March 25 and thus far is the tightest lockdown in the world. In the large cities, the lack of public transportation has forced newly unemployed to walk home, often over a period of days, to their home villages. This creates a challenge for the economy because India depends on seasonal migrant and factory workers.

Unlike most countries, pharmaceutical and supplement manufacturers, as well as food processors, are entirely shut down. While farm operations and their supply chains are exempt, there is no harvest without migrant labor. Moreover, truckers transporting frozen goods often are stopped en route due to uneven permit enforcement across states. Add to this the problem of export foods stuck in containers or ports with limited market access, combined with import/export restrictions, and a crisis is at hand.

And, while the Indian government has not banned rice exports, India’s Rice Exporters Association effectively suspended exports because of dramatic labor shortages and logistical disruptions. So, while buyers exist, there is no practical way to harvest, process or ship those exports.

Combine the lack of migrant agricultural workers with the closing of restaurants and schools in many countries and economies are left with a steep drop in demand. As a result, unprocessed food including pork, eggs, milk and early-harvest fruits and vegetables are being destroyed or “tilled under.”

Countries whose leadership is turning a blind eye to the pandemic (i.e., Brazil) will ultimately see a more significant impact.

Another major player to watch is China, where the tariff crisis initially exposed supply chain vulnerabilities. Combined with the current pandemic, businesses now see that sourcing can often be a more substantial factor than price.

Prior to COVID-19, the United States, among other countries, initiated a trend toward blatant economic nationalism, which significantly accelerated this year. In an effort to protect their populations and national security, countries (i.e., Cambodia, India, Kazakhstan, Russia, Serbia and Ukraine) halted the export of vital commodities. As a result, critical supplies have been diverted to more developed countries that can outbid and pay a higher price, leading to food security risks in smaller and weaker markets.

These factors will trigger a rethinking of supply chains in the medium and long term. The cost savings realized in China, India, Vietnam and Thailand will be weighed against the threats to supply chain stability. The result may be a subtle new form of supply chain nationalism, where companies prefer more reliable local production to lower-cost, more vulnerable foreign production. The recent sourcing trend for large multinationals to partner with fewer, trusted providers could reverse once the dust settles from this pandemic.

The decrease in air cargo capacity (due to the grounding of passenger aircrafts) has also played a significant role in supply chain disruption and will lead to dramatic short-term increases in the cost of air freight.

Last, but certainly not least, will be the fallout from obvious bankruptcies. As an early indicator, 247,000 Chinese companies declared bankruptcy in the first two months of 2020, with many more closures expected.

Obvious candidates include movie theaters, airlines, cruise ships, retailers, and hotels, but any company caught carrying a large debt load is also endangered. Pharma companies and those in oil, gas and petrochemicals will also be affected by a perfect storm of oil market collapse.

On a positive note, any supplement (i.e., Vitamin B, C and D) food commodity (i.e., blueberries, oranges) and processed food products (i.e., juices, yogurts) perceived to have immunity-boosting potential will likely see a short and long-term boost in sales. Botanicals, however, may soon have significant new sourcing problems.

As they deal with consequences of this pandemic, global companies will need to strategize for building a more durable and flexible supply chain. These unprecedented times are sure to spark more innovation and technological growth to address the challenges industry is facing.

Susanne Kuehne, Decernis
Food Fraud Quick Bites

Some Very Fishy Fish

By Susanne Kuehne
No Comments
Susanne Kuehne, Decernis
Tuna, food fraud
Find records of fraud such as those discussed in this column and more in the Food Fraud Database.
Image credit: Susanne Kuehne.

The coronavirus lockdown has halted fishing operations in most Indian harbors, and now stale fish and shellfish is finding its way to the consumer. In India, 50 tons of stale and spoiled tuna fish and prawns, no longer fit for human consumption, have been seized and destroyed after inspections by the Food Safety Department. These violations can carry fines and jail sentences.

Resource

  1. The New Indian Express. (April 11, 2020). “Stale tuna fish, prawns flood markets”.
Susanne Kuehne, Decernis
Food Fraud Quick Bites

An ‘Egg-stra’ Splash Of Color

By Susanne Kuehne
No Comments
Susanne Kuehne, Decernis
Food fraud, eggs
Find records of fraud such as those discussed in this column and more in the Food Fraud Database. Image credit: Susanne Kuehne

Free-range country chicken eggs, often recognizable by their different color, fetch 30–40% more revenue than eggs from caged hens. Leghorns, a common type of chicken used for mass-production, lay white eggs. In this fraud case in India, leghorn eggs were colored by using water-based dyes, for example, made from tea. The eggs were confiscated and destroyed by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), and the vendors received a warning.

Resource

  1. Thomas, W. (February 3, 2020). “FSSAI destroys artificially coloured eggs”. The Hindu.
Susanne Kuehne, Decernis
Food Fraud Quick Bites

Oil Crisis, The 2019 Version

By Susanne Kuehne
No Comments
Susanne Kuehne, Decernis
Food fraud
Find records of fraud such as those discussed in this column and more in the Food Fraud Database.
Image credit: Susanne Kuehne.

In many parts of India, mustard oil is widely consumed as an edible oil and for ceremonial use, and is a target for adulterations for economic gain. In a test of 20 samples, 80% of the samples were adulterated. Adulterants, some of them hazardous to human health, often consist of cheaper oils such as palm or sesame seed oil, as well as added dyes or flavor components. Tests were made using TLC Chromatography, nitric acid test, azo dye test and other test methods.

Resource

Pandey, P., Mishra, M. and Kesharwani, L. (October 6, 2019). “Examination of Various Adulterants in non-branded Mustard Oil for Forensic Considerations”. Academic Journal of Forensic Science.

 

Susanne Kuehne, Decernis
Food Fraud Quick Bites

Read Your Tea Leaves Carefully

By Susanne Kuehne
No Comments
Susanne Kuehne, Decernis
Tea leaves, food fraud
Find records of fraud such as those discussed in this column and more in the Food Fraud Database. Image credit: Susanne Kuehne.

Tea adulteration is a very common and recurring issue. Indian Officials, such as the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), keep seizing teas adulterated with artificial colorants and dyes. Tea dust and low-quality teas are adulterated by adding coal tar dyes, sunset yellow, tartrazine and other artificial colorants, some of them rendering the teas unfit for human consumption and endangering consumer health.

Resources

  1. Staff Reporter Coimbatore (August 29, 2019). “FSSAI seizes 1.5 tonnes of adulterated tea dust”. Retrieved from The Hindu.

More Sources

  1. Beware! The tea you sip may be adulterated“. On Manorama.
  2. Over four tonnes of adulterated tea dust seized; one arrested“. The Hindu. 
Susanne Kuehne, Decernis
Food Fraud Quick Bites

Ghee Whiz!

By Susanne Kuehne
No Comments
Susanne Kuehne, Decernis

Ghee, the glorious clarified butter leading a creamy buttery flavor to dishes and widely used in Asian cooking, is now also target for food fraud. Real ghee is based on pure butterfat extracted usually from cow’s milk, without impurities or additives. In Surajpole, India, an adulterated ghee operation was seized that used refined soybean oil and added butter flavor, which may have created a health hazard.

Resource

  1. Unit producing spurious ghee raided in Surajpole. (February 25, 2019). Accessed February 28, 2019. Retrieved from https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/jaipur/now-spurious-ghee-manufacturing-unitraided/articleshow/68142661.cms