Professor Chris Elliott, founder of the Institute for Global Food Security at Queen’s, gave the keynote address at ETH Zurich’s World Food System Center’s highly anticipated public lecture on food fraud on Thursday 26 April.
The World Food System Center is a competence centre at ETH Zurich that supports multi- and cross-disciplinary approaches to addressing the challenges confronting the world food system. The Center does this through research, education, and outreach activities that contribute to sustainable food and nutrition security.
At the lecture Professor Elliott led a debate on fraud in organic food and how science can play a role in its detection and prevention.
Professor Elliott’s presentation introduced instances of food fraud from around the world, focusing on false organic food claims. He talked about how cutting-edge research performed at the Institute for Global Food Security is identifying fraud across the world and is working on ways to help prevent fraud to safeguard citizens and prevent erosion of customer confidence in organic food.
Speaking after the event Professor Elliott said: “The main messages form the lecture were; how vulnerable food systems are to fraud; how widespread it is around the world; how especially difficult it is to detect fraud in organic food and how science can play an enormous role in detecting fraud and prevent it happening in the future.
The organic food sector is growing globally at an impressive pace and is particularly susceptible to fraud. We need to work to fight food criminals with science through detection, using numerous tools such as audits, inspections, and digital supply chains. New analytical techniques, such as metabolomics fingerprinting can be used to identify fraudulent products.”
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