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South African Food Fraud Trends for 2020

Date Published: 06 March 2020
Published by: FACTS FOOD AND ALLERGY CONSULTING AND TESTING SERVICES

As we enter a new decade, several new product development trends can be seen; among these are the use of Agtech, as well as the creation of smaller-portion foodstuffs designed for solo living individuals, to minimise waste.

However, some new trends (and the resultant products) may present new opportunities for fraud – and with our current economic state, fraudulent activities in South Africa are likely to increase. Table 1 below details examples of fraud that may occur in 2020, based on these trends.

These emerging trends, both new and continuing from last year, include alternative-protein-source foodstuffs, use of exotic ingredients in food, and the creation of sustainable choices – as well as the integration of botanicals, to calm the increasingly stressed-out consumer. 

Trend

Potential Fraud Category

Example

Alternative-Protein Foods

Mislabelling

Claiming ‘high in protein’ when not substantiated by the regulated scientific analysis.

Substitution

Use of allergenic soya protein instead of pea protein, to cut cost.

Adulteration

Inclusion of harmful protein-enhancing ingredients such as melamine, to increase protein content without adding the advertised source, thereby cutting costs.

Exotic Ingredients

Mislabelling

Country-of-origin statements omitted from packaging. i.e. advertising that a product comes from a specific region or country when in fact it comes from elsewhere.

Sustainable-choice foodstuffs

Mislabelling

Organic, vegan, religious and ethical claims that are not validated.

Foodstuffs for stressed-out consumers

Adulteration

Claimed levels of CBD and other botanicals present in products, when they are lower or non-existent.

 

Misrepresentation

Unsubstantiated health claims for CBD and other botanicals present in products.

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