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Current Legal Context in Food Integrity, Authenticity, and Frauds

Aug 03, 2021

Societys interest in relation to the authenticity and quality of food is increasing. Quality is among the most valued features when choosing food for purchase; however, its objective description is a very challenging task. This is because the amount and type of ingredients influence the quality of food. Within this context, the labeling of food products becomes essential to inform consumers about what kind of products they are buying. Also, this is practically the only tool that consumers have in order to assess the quality of food and select the products they consume. However, considering that we are in a globalized world, and the great complexity that this entails in the food chain, where there are a large number of people and factors involved from the production of a product to its final consumption, rigorous controls are demanded by society to guarantee the integrity and authenticity of food and to avoid fraudulent practices. Fraud in the context of food means that the description of the origin of food, its composition, and how it has been obtained and/or prepared, shall be truthful, i.e., nothing of lesser economic value must be added or removed if it is of higher economic value. If food is misdescribed, i.e., the information about origin, composition, etc., provided to customers is not true, and if this misdescription is done with the intention to deceive the customer for financial gain, food fraud (also known as economically motivated adulteration) is committed. In this chapter, different aspects regarding the current context of food integrity, authenticity, and frauds will be addressed.

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