Are you aware some of the food that you buy from the supermarket or grocery stores are fake? This is a growing trend in food fraud, which is the deliberate adulteration, dilution, substitution, addition or tampering of food ingredients by manufacturers for economic gains.
Food is one of the easier products to fake because of the subtle difference from the real deal. The biggest challenge in food products is that they are natural and there are a number of variations in natural products.
To ensure that you are getting what you pay for comes down to being an informed shopper and buying from trustworthy sources.
Here are the 5 top food products that are tampered with:
1) Olive oil
Extra virgin olive oil is expensive and time-consuming to produce. With the growing demand for it’s health benefits, there are many manufacturers who would mix with corn oil, hazel nut oil and palm oil to pass off as extra virgin olive oil.
The famous case in Spain, where 700 people died consuming rapeseed oil mixed with aniline, an industrial lubricant, sold as olive oil.
Milk is easily watered down and mixed with melamine to increase the protein content to hide the dilution.
In 2008 Chinese milk scandal is the most high profile case resulting in 6 infants death and sickening 300,000 consumers.
Food Safety New tested 75% of store in US and found honey that do not contain pollen. Pollen content is important to determine the geographic location of the honey. One third of fake honey from Asia is contaminated with lead and antibiotics.
4) Fruit juices
It is easy to dilute expensive juices without changing the taste and consistency. Apple juice may be passed off as expensive pomegranate juice.
Most juices are formulated with coloring, flavour, synthetic malic acid and high fructose corn syrup, but containing very little of the actual juice from the fruit.
Saffron is the most expensive spice in the world. It is easy to pass off as fake made from saw dust, starch, yellow dye and gelatin thread.
The best way to protect yourself from fake food is to know the food well. Know when is the season, how it should look, taste and feel. If the price looks too good to be true, it is.
Have you experience buying fake food unwittingly? Share with me your experience in the comment box below.
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