Health and Safety
Food fraud database resource updated
By Doug Picklyk
Rockville, Maryland – In an effort to help food manufacturers and retailers make informed decisions about ingredients and products in their portfolios that may have a greater potential of being adulterated, the U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) has launched an update to its Food Fraud Database (FFD 2.0), reportedly the largest collection of food fraud records in the world.
In a release sent out by the USP, the goal of the revised database service is to provide brand protection, increase consumer trust and support new food safety regulations recently finalized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The Food Fraud Database version 2.0 is a continuously updated collection of thousands of ingredients and related records gathered from scientific literature, media publications, regulatory reports, judicial records and trade associations from around the world and is available through an annual subscription (US$1,200/yr).
According to the release, food fraud, also referred to as economically-motivated adulteration (EMA), is a global problem, costing industry an estimated $10 to $15 billion annually and affecting as much as 10 per cent of the global food supply.
“Consumers today are more educated than ever, and manufacturers risk doing irreparable damage to their brands as a result of food fraud,” noted Todd Abraham of Mondelēz International and a member of USP’s Board of Trustees in the release. “The Food Fraud Database 2.0 provides food manufacturers with the ability to look at past incidents of fraud and take proactive steps to protect their supply chains – thus protecting their reputation and ensuring consumer confidence in their products.”
The release cites another advantage of database is its role in supporting compliance with new FDA regulatory requirements related to the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) which requires food manufacturers and retailers to identify and analyze potential hazards including those resulting from food fraud as part of their food safety plans.
The release also notes that the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), the industry-driven initiative providing guidance on food safety management systems, has similar requirements to conduct food fraud vulnerability assessments and develop control plans.
“Substances used to adulterate food can include industrial dyes, plasticizers, allergens, or other substances not intended to be consumed by people,” notes Jeffrey Moore, Ph.D., science director for the food program at USP, in the release. “Smart mitigation of risks starts with reliable data, and the Food Fraud Database 2.0 is a first good step towards assessing the hazards potentially present in specific food supply chains.”
New features in the database allow users to identify historical trends and vulnerabilities along with automatic alerts of new records of food fraud and automated analytics for ingredients of interest.
For more information on the Food Fraud database 2.0 and other food fraud prevention tools visit foodfraud.org