April 1, 2010
By: Amit Pathania
According to the FDA, which is posted to be overwhelmed concerning issues on food contamination, cases of “food fraud” are witnessed to be on a high.
Food fraud is defined as the practice of selling alternate substances of degraded quality with labels that pose them as an expensive delicacy.
Food items including fruit juice, olive oil, spices, vinegar, wine, spirits and maple syrup, are documented in “food fraud” and it is revealed to reflect a significant problem in the seafood industry.
Now, the FDA has risen to adopt new technology savvy methods of discovering food fraud that might have gone unnoticed before.
DNA testing poses as a widely used method used to test cells from food, everything from fish and meat to rice and coffee, to affirm that the food item is not of degraded quality. Also, isotope ration analysis can also assist in discovering subtle differences between foodstuffs.
Two New York City high scholars, along with scientists at the Rockefeller University and American Museum of Natural History, last year initiated a study to test the DNA of 66 foods found on Manhattan grocery store shelves, the result surprisingly revealed 11 of the 66 items as mislabeled.
According to the estimation made by John Spink, an expert on food and packaging fraud at Michigan State University, nearly 5 to 7 percent of the U. S. food supply is hit by food fraud.