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EU offers €3 million for technology to battle fake foods

The European Commission is channelling a total of €3 million into a new project call designed to arrest the rising volumes of counterfeit foodstuffs on the EU market.

The FoodIntegrity project will make grants to private and public sector organisations able to meet one of four identified needs in this area. These are:

  • The standardisation and harmonisation of untargeted food integrity methods
  • Developing innovative approaches to assure the integrity of complex foods
  • Conducting a feasibility study of how information can be shared along the supply chain, to identify risks to the integrity of food
  • Evolving rapid, on-site, cost-effective methods for feed and food fraud detection.

The bid process is being overseen by UK-based Fera Science. Applicants have until 14 August to apply for the grants.

Paul Brereton is Fera’s head of agri-food research and FoodIntegrity project coordinator. He explains: ‘We know that food fraud is still happening on a massive scale. In the last six months alone, data collected and analysed by Fera has found more than 200 incidents of reported food fraud – from the “wine” that contained no grapes, to “finest” honey that was clearly old and poor quality.

‘Other examples include undeclared soya and wheat in almonds, faked famous brand beers, sugar added to “no added sugar” drinks and mislabelling for a range of produce, including hazelnut oil and pork.’

‘Fera is developing cutting-edge technologies to assure food provenance, as well as to verify labelling claims for a wide range of products from wine, oils and fats to Manuka honey. It is also leading groundbreaking research into developing systems that will anticipate food fraud; for example, the impact failed harvests in one part of the world [will have] on the risk of food fraud in another.’

This article comes from Food Contact World, which provides exclusive news and analysis on developments in digital print trends, markets, and technologies.