- The U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) launched an updated version of its food fraud database, which provides users with information about ingredients that are likely to be adulterated.
- The database provides hazard-specific reports on incidents of ingredient fakery that come from scientific literature, media reports, regulators, courts and trade associations worldwide.
- Considered the world's largest collection of food fraud records, this database has thousands of records on individual ingredients and has a huge historical data repository, with incident reports that date back to 1800 — though the focus is the last four decades.
According to the Grocery Manufacturers' Association, about 10% of all purchased food is likely adulterated. Food fraud could add up to $49 billion lost around the world each year, and the issue has been a hot topic of discussion and literature.
USP's upgrade of its database was timed to coincide with the U.S. Food and Drug Administrarion's new Food Safety Modernization Act, according to the press release. FSMA, which the largest food and beverage companies must comply with by Sept. 16, requires registered facilities that manufacture, process, pack or hold food to develop and maintain a food safety plan, perform a risk analysis for potential food safety hazards within their operations, and put preventive controls to abate those risks in place. The upgraded database will help manufacturers and retailers identify potential problematic ingredients.
"Smart mitigation of risks starts with reliable data, and the Food Fraud Database 2.0 is a first good step towards assessing the hazards potentially present in specific food supply chains," Jeffrey Moore, science director for USP's food director said in the release.