Food Engineering

Seafood, clouding agents and lemon juice among new food frauds

US Pharmacopeial Convention has added almost 800 new products to its list

January 23, 2013

Seafood, clouding agents and lemon juice among new food frauds

The US Pharmacopeial Convention added nearly 800 new reports to its 1300-item Food Fraud Database, increasing the number of entries by around 60 percent. Seafood, clouding agents and lemon juice were found to be among the top categories where food fraud occurred, joining milk, vegetable oils and spices as the top offenders. Food fraud encompasses the deliberate substitution, addition, tampering or misrepresentation of food, food ingredients or food packaging, or false or misleading statements made about a product for economic gain. Seafood fraud included mislabeling the fish escolar as white tuna or butterfish and puffer fish as monkfish. Seafood fraud is especially troubling given that seafood safety controls are species-specific. Clouding agent fraud occurred when Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) and other related phthalates were added in place of more expensive palm oil to fruit juices and other products. DEHP safety concerns include cancer and improper reproductive organ development in children.