Definition of food fraud
NSF International defines food fraud as: “the deliberate substitution, addition, tampering or misrepresentation of food, ingredients or packaging”. The 2013 horsemeat scandal and the Elliott report commissioned by the UK government at the end of 2014 made consumers realize the food they eat was not as safe and fresh as they think.
Costs of food fraud
Food fraud is estimated to cost the world economy $48 billion annually and the University of Minnesota National Center for Food Protection and Defense has approximated that about 10% of US food could be adulterated.
Contributing factors to food fraud include:
- the growing length and complexity of supply networks ;
- the concentration of buying groups and retailers into very few multinational chains ;
- high pressures on supply prices ;
- the considerable improvement of shifting methods and long-term storage of perishable goods.