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Economically Motivated Food Fraud and Adulteration in Brazil: Incidents and Alternatives to Minimize Occurrence

Tibola, Casiane Salete, da Silva, Simone Alves, Dossa, Alvaro Augusto, Patrício, Diego Inácio
Journal of food science 2018 v.83 no.8 pp. 2028-2038
adulterated products, animal-based foods, byproducts, fish, food industry, food research, food safety, fraud, high-value products, ingredients, meat, milk, monitoring, new markets, olive oil, supply chain, tea, traceability, vegetable oil, Brazil
Brazil is one of the world's largest food producers. Adulteration of foods is often reported and represent an important potential threat to food safety. Because of this, reduction of the vulnerability of foods to adulteration is of high priority to Brazil. This study analyzes economically motivated food fraud and adulterations in Brazil between 2007 and 2017, based on academic journal reports. In addition, alternatives are proposed to minimize these incidents through good practices, traceability systems and the development of methods to detect food fraud and adulteration. Complex supply chains for foods of animal origin, such as milk and dairy products, were the main targets of food fraud and adulterations. Other products prone to fraudulent activities were vegetable oils, especially olive oil, which are high value products. Meat and fish, as well as their respective by‐products, were also involved in some food fraud and adulteration, especially substitution. Cases of extraneous ingredient addition were also reported in the coffee and tea sectors. Comprehensive food fraud and adulteration prevention requires the enforcement of regulatory systems, increased sampling and monitoring, training of food producers and handlers, and development of precise, rapid, and cost‐effective methods of fraud detection. The availability of robust methods to identify the chemical constituents of foods could be a decisive step, both to detect and prevent fraud in producer countries and to open up new markets to these products. The results of this study can be used to analyze food safety risks and prioritize target areas for food research and policy‐making in order to enforce food safety regulations in Brazil. PRACTICAL APPLICATION: A food fraud and adulteration review was conducted based on scientific literature in Brazil. Milk and its products were the main targets of food fraud and adulterations. Food fraud and adulteration causes and suggestions for good practice are presented. The results can be used to analyze food safety and protect consumer rights.