According to experts, imported organic fruits and vegetables are susceptible to food fraud. Now, University of Copenhagen researchers have developed a new approach that helps consumers and commercial interests combat fraudulently-labelled organic foods. The method provides a deeper, more accurate portrayal of whether eco-labelled produce is indeed organic.
Increased consumer demand and higher profits for producers has made organic foods susceptible to food fraud. Danish food controls are stringent and we are among the few European countries to have nationally controlled organic foods.
Assistant Professor Kristian Holst Laursen, who has been developing food fraud detection methods for the past decade, says: “While a major eco-labelling scandal has yet to occur in Denmark, we often forget that our diet is sourced globally, and that our foods are often imported from countries where problems have been documented. For example, in southern Europe, where a large quantity of organic fruits and vegetables are sourced.”
Laursen heads a research group in the field of plant nutrients and food quality at the University of Copenhagen’s Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences. The group has just developed an analytical method that can inform public agencies and importers whether eco-labelled fruits and vegetables are indeed organic.