FoodQuestTQ has unveiled a software platform to tackle the “time consuming and expensive” challenge of food fraud.
Food Fraudster will describe how the commodity is grown, harvested and processed, provide the means in which fraud can be committed on a specific commodity and the methods of how it could be committed.
It will also look at the countermeasures to prevent or mitigate an occurrence of food fraud, commodity assessments to identify the food fraudster, provide facility, country and regional intelligence and alerts with regards to facilities, countries and regions when the threat changes.
The first version of Food Fraudster includes fish, beef, olive oil, honey, cocoa and rice.
Reducing food fraud
Steve Mavity, Senior VP, technical services and corporate quality at Bumble Bee Foods, said food fraud is a time consuming and expensive challenge for the food industry.
“Finding better ways to reduce the potential huge losses from food fraud can only lead to higher quality and safer food products for the consumer.
“That is why we are pleased to be part of the FoodQuestTQ and food industry team working to create Food Fraudster.
“We believe that the new Food Fraudster computer software platform can offer companies a tool that can have a significant impact on cutting losses from fraud.”
Fillers added to rice to add weight, sugar syrups being added to honey, the dilution of olive oil with cheaper substitutes like palm oil are examples of the types of fraud faced by industry.
It affects the bottom line of food companies and can result in severe damages to brand name, said FoodQuestTQ.
Food fraud involves the counterfeiting, adulterating or mislabeling of a food product by unscrupulous individuals for economic gain.
FoodquestTQ published reports on the horsemeat food fraud problem in Europe, where it identified 57 solutions that the food industry can take to prevent similar events from occurring in the future
Dr Jo Head, fellow of the Institute of Food Science & Technology (FIFST) head consultancy, said: “Individually we can make incremental steps forward into uncharted territory.
“Collectively, we can make a quantum leap forward in outsmarting the criminals and close the door on food fraud to continue our quest to deliver a safe and sustainable food supply for the future.”
Cost for the program varies on how is using it and how they are using the tool.
For a retailer, large processor or insurers it is priced at $1,000 per month or $11,400 per year, for a supplier it is $450 for core and $250 for core and commodity specific questions, with the country Profile costing $99 per month or $1150 for the year and alerts at $10 per month or $100 per year.
For Warehouse and Transportation and farms the prices stand at $450 for core and $150 for core and commodity specific questions, country Profile cost of $99 per month or $1150 for the year and alerts at $10 per month or $100 per year.
Dr. John Hnatio, FoodQuestTQ chief science officer, added: “Our FoodQuestTQ Science and Computing Team have addressed a serious problem that has plagued the food industry for many years and they provided an industry solution within six months.”