A comprehensive strategy to detect the fraudulent adulteration of herbs: The oregano approach

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Abstract

Fraud in the global food supply chain is becoming increasingly common due to the huge profits associated with this type of criminal activity. Food commodities and ingredients that are expensive and are part of complex supply chains are particularly vulnerable. Both herbs and spices fit these criteria perfectly and yet strategies to detect fraudulent adulteration are still far from robust. An FT-IR screening method coupled to data analysis using chemometrics and a second method using LC-HRMS were developed, with the latter detecting commonly used adulterants by biomarker identification. The two tier testing strategy was applied to 78 samples obtained from a variety of retail and on-line sources. There was 100% agreement between the two tests that over 24% of all samples tested had some form of adulterants present. The innovative strategy devised could potentially be used for testing the global supply chains for fraud in many different forms of herbs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)551-557
Number of pages7
JournalFood Chemistry
Volume210
Early online date03 May 2016
DOIs
Publication statusEarly online date - 03 May 2016

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