Dairy sector teams up to tackle food fraud
held as part of the ISO/IDF analytical week being held in Copenhagen, Denmark
has highlighted the value of collaboration in defending the food chain from
A range of initiatives,
from a European food fraud network to latest developments in analytical
technology were presented giving an encouraging picture of how the dairy sector
is mobilising to take on the complex threat of food adulteration.
session, Claus Heggum, chief consultant at the Danish Agricultural and Food
Council said: “The 2008 melamine scandal was a wake-up call for the dairy
industry. This is something we need to tackle in a systematic way.”
Serial ID numbers
expert Caroline Lee from the GS1 standards organisation highlighted how the
global supply chain is becoming increasingly complex and international making
it vulnerable to fraudsters. “Even packaging is subject to counterfeiting,” she
help to track exactly what is going on with a product throughout the supply
identification with serialised ID numbers gives a great level of detail from
transport history to time and date of particular batches of a product. Communication
and collaboration is essential, for example, customs authorities can tap into
the serial ID data stored in a cloud-based system. If a unique serial ID crops
up in two different places it raises a flag that something is suspicious.
The analytical armoury
technology to help combat food fraud and adulteration is developing all the
time. This includes rapid microbiological methods for detecting pathogens,
molecular or genome analysis for tracing the source of contaminations, rapid
infrared screening tests to spot abnormalities in milk and dairy products. But as David Tomas Fornes of the Nestlé
research center pointed out, the challenge for food industry is to maximise
analytical efficiency while keeping the cost under control. “They have to be
faster, easier and cheaper,” he said.
Prevention through proactive
advances, analytical technology is not enough alone. Francois Bourdichon, Food
Safety Governance Director at Danone said:
“Testing can help, but it is not the whole solution. You have to think
like a criminal and anticipate their moves.” Danone has introduced food fraud
vulnerability assessment of its supply chain that goes far beyond traditional
hazard assessment by including traceability, socio-economic and criminology
aspects of the supply chain. This aims to nip potential threats in the bud for
example, with education of smaller suppliers at the hard- to-control outer
reaches of the chain and financial premiums for those who comply with
Tracking down the criminals
to stop fraudsters in the act has also improved in recent years for example with
national initiatives such as the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration
flying squad that was set up in 2008 in the wake of a meat scandal involving the
sale of out of date frozen meat.
Meanwhile, on a pan-European level, a new EU Food Fraud Network
exemplifies the collaborative nature of food fraud defence today. A new IT
application assists member states in tracking the activities of criminals across
borders. Over 200 fraud cases have been successfully tackled using shared data since
the system was set up in 2013.
symposium agenda was as follows:
Maintaining the integrity
of suppliers´ milk - IDF Guidelines
Claus Heggum, Chief
Consultant, Danish Agricultural & Food Council
The power of standards in
fighting against counterfeiting in the food sector
Carolyn Lee, Food Traceability
Manager, GS1 Global Office, Brussels
Guidance and Strategies.
Kristie B. Laurvick, MS,
Senior Scientific Liaison – Foods Program Unit, U. S. Pharmacopeia
Trends and perspective in
rapid detection of microorganisms.
David Tomas Fornes ,
Microbial & Molecular Analytics, Food Safety & Quality Nestec Ltd.
Nestlé Research Center
Chemical residues in milk
and milk products– challenges and solutions.
Steve Holroyd, Fonterra
Research & Development Centre, New Zealand
preventive food fraud measures in the dairy supply chain - a practical example
F. Bourdichon, Food Safety
Analytical Governance Director, Danone, France
Tracing food fraud cases
– Experience of the Flying Squad of The Danish Veterinary and Food
Michael Rosenmark, Head of
Unit, Flying Squad of Danish Veterinary and Food Administration
The EU Food Fraud Network
– How Member States cooperate in practice to prevent, detect and fight food
Filippo Abruzzo, Policy Officer,
G5, Health and Consumers Directorate (SANTE), European Commission.