Herbs and spices are often sold in their dried and finely chopped/powdered forms, and are globally traded commodities which can command high prices. This combination can mean that these products are the target for food fraud, because part of the powdered/chopped product can easily be replaced with a similar colour powder or similar coloured leaf. This allows the adulterer to make the same good profit on sub-standard and potentially harmful product.
Garlic (Allium sativum) is traded in huge quantities (over 26 million tonnes in 2016) and the powdered form is the most likely to be adulterated, with instances of talcum powder, chalk powder, and powdered starch being used as bulking agents to defraud buyers. In a recent publication by the EU Food Fraud Network’s Herb & Spice Coordinated Control Plan (EUCCP), over 1,800 samples were analysed to determine the level of adulteration within a range of herbs and spices. The results ranged from 6% of samples adulterated (paprika/chilli) to a massive 48% for Oregano (largely adulterated with olive leaves).
Fapas quality control materials make use of real food matrices, from which to provide direct comparison with your real world testing arrangement. Through effective quality assurance methods areas of improvement can be addressed, from which to achieve high quality testing and control any areas of bias which may negatively affect results. Through activities such as staff training and instrumentation verification this bias can be addressed