Food Fraud Database

Background and Data Management

FoodChain ID’s Food Fraud Database is a curated, searchable database of food fraud records to support GFSI-required vulnerability assessments. Food fraud is the intentional misrepresentation of foods or food ingredients for economic gain.

Database adulteration records are created using the fields shown below. Food fraud information is searched and extracted from the peer-reviewed scientific literature, media publications, regulatory reports, judicial records, trade association reports, and other public sources published from 1980-present.

Food Fraud Database Methods

Food Fraud Database Record Types

An incident is a documented occurrence of food fraud in a food ingredient or product within a defined timeframe. Incidents are often reported in the media and tend to include contextual and supporting information about the perpetrator, motive, geographic location, and/or other characteristics.

An inference record is documentation of probable knowledge of food fraud adulteration without sufficient documentation to be classified as an incident. Often, an inference record is created from published research conducted to develop detection methods for adulterants in particular ingredients. Inference records are also created to document the specific combinations of ingredients and adulterants resulting from general surveillance testing in the marketplace.

A surveillance record documents a report of sampling and testing of foods or ingredients in specified geographic locations or at multiple points along the supply chain to gain knowledge about the scope of fraud. This type of market sampling is typically conducted by regulatory agencies, trade organizations, or other interest groups, and may also occur as part of published research regarding analytical detection methods.

A method record provides information on an analytical method for detecting food adulteration or authenticating food ingredients that has been published in a scholarly report.

Weight of Evidence

Information is pulled from a wide variety of public sources which vary in validity. Therefore, incident records include a field titled “weight of evidence” (WOE) to allow analysts to provide an assessment of the credibility of information (high, medium, or low). Information reported directly by regulatory agencies will generally be assigned a high WOE.