As the supply chains that deliver food stuffs to our doors grow ever more complex, it becomes more difficult to ensure that we can trust those foods. The most recently revealed cases of food fraud, published in a press release by Europol from April 25th 2017, show the extent of criminal activities in the food sector: 9 800 tonnes, over 26.4 million litres, and 13 million units/items were seized during the operation “OPSON VI”, a joint Europol-INTERPOL operation targeting counterfeit and substandard food and drink in 61 countries.
The operation revealed numerous offenses, for example the production and distribution of fake wine in Italy. In this case, the inferior product was sold as a famous and protected red wine (Protected geographical indication of origin). In Denmark, analyses of virgin olive oils revealed several cases of adulteration, in which the product was blended.
This alarming news explain why consumers are getting more and more worried about food origin and food quality. We at Elementar have more than one solution to monitor food quality: On the one hand, there is the N-protein analysis which determines the protein content of the sample. This value gives an indication on the quality and thus the price of many products. Our “exceed” products lead the technology and the market.
On the other hand, there is stable isotope analysis, which is a technique that can be used to determine the true origin of a food or drink product and to verify its authenticity. This helps to highlight adulteration and any mislabeling of premium or protected foods, and works by evaluating the unique isotope ratio of a foodstuff to determine its origin. Stable isotope analysis with our isoprime visION and isoprime precisION products can therefore play an important role in ensuring consumers are able to trust the food they eat and, essentially, helps to guarantee the public’s safety.