Useful Tips

How food specs management can help you deal with modern day food fraud

food specs
With all the news and warnings about potential food fraud and adulteration from around the world it is easy to get overwhelmed with the vast amounts of ingredients, products and food specs that need to be created, filled out by suppliers (including chasing those that do not provide the information) and then finally reviewed to make sure you have adequate traceability.
This can be a big headache and it is not uncommon for technical teams to be buried under a huge amount of food specification requests with no easy way to complete them meaning that they struggle to provide food spec information quickly and in enough detail.
So with suppliers not always providing adequate information quick enough how else can food businesses be aware of potential food fraud going on in their supply chain?
While it is always going to be hard to identify food fraud before it happens there are a few suggestions we have about which food ingredients or products should be closely monitored as they are a likely target for food fraud.
I would like to suggest the following which I feel could be the target of modern day food fraud:

  • High value or PDO foods
  • High value/increasing value commodities
  • GMO free products
  • Nature identical products

By using this information and looking at your food specs you will quickly identify the PDO, NI and GMO free products and by talking to purchasing colleagues you will identify high value commodities.
You can then monitor to see which suppliers are failing/refusing to provide information for these products and raise a red flag.
Using a food specs management system designed to collate all information provided and chase suppliers that are slow to provide information will help you manage both your high and low risk ingredients and products while reducing the stress put upon technical teams allowing for any cases of food fraud to be identified before it is too late.