Food fraud is the manipulation of a commodity or product in some manner, intentionally or unintentionally, that isn’t known to the consumer. Typically, it’s when a high-end expensive product is diluted or replaced with a lower end, cheaper product. This practice is on the rise, as premium ingredients are becoming more expensive but remain in high demand. Economically motivated food fraud is estimated at more than $10 billion annually in the U.S. alone. Additionally, manipulating or misstating ingredients in a food product may result in health consequences to some consumers, such as when allergens are present. Laboratories need to test for food authenticity, because consumers want confidence in the products that they’re buying.
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