Food Fraud

Do you religiously read the ingredient list on food labels? You may be surprised to learn that not all ingredients are listed! That’s right. Not everything can be found in the nutrition facts.

Food fraud is more than deception on the front of the package, which makes false or misleading healthy claims. “All Natural” is a common claim that doesn’t mean a thing. “USDA Organic” is supposed to ensure the food was raised without chemicals and hormones. Sometimes, that is even in question.

Food fraud is defined in a report commissioned by the Department of Homeland Security as “collective term that encompasses the deliberate substitution, addition, tampering or misrepresentation of food, food ingredients or food packaging, or false or misleading statements made about a product for economic gain.”

This latest research has found that many foods do not list substitutions in ingredients. Adulterants are used to cut corners and save money, and in the process they end up contaminating the food.

Eat an apple like Nicole, instead of drinking apple juice.

Sometimes it’s not an unhealthy ingredient, but one that is cheaper than what is listed. Using grapefruit juice in a carton that contains 100 percent orange juice is an example. While it may be healthy, it’s misleading and illegal.

The Journal of Food Science research focuses on the database FoodFraud.org, which contains 1,054 records of scholarly research and 251 media reports.

The April issue of the Journal of Food Science analyzes the most adulterated ingredients. They found the most common instances of food fraud.

The Top Seven Adulterated Foods
The following ingredients may be added to your favorite foods and NOT appear on the ingredient list.

1. Apple Juice
Arsenic, high fructose corn syrup, raisin sweetener and synthetic maltic acid
2. Coffee
Chicory, roasted corn, caramel, malt, glucose, leguminous plants and maltodextrins.
3. Honey
Sandlewood dust, starch, yellow dye and gelatin threads.
4. OJ
Fungicide, grapefruit juice, marigold flower extract, corn sugar and paprika extract.
5. Olive Oil
Corn oil, hazelnut oil and palm oil
6. Milk
Whey bovine milk protein, melamine and cane sugar.
7. Saffron
Metanil Yellow and Kesari Dal are added to enhance the yellow color of a food substance.

The best way to avoid food fraud is to purchase food  locally, with the least amount of ingredients and eat whole foods.

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