· Olive oil, milk, saffron and coffee joined honey and fish as the most commonly fraudulent products on the market. Most of the reported food fraud comes from producers adding fillers or diluting the real deal with less expensive ingredients. Clouding agents were found in 877 food products from 315 different companies.
· Misbranding: A pomegranate juice that claims to be 100 percent juice, is sometimes only 40 percent juice with the rest being water, citric acid and food coloring.
· Substitutes: Many Olive oil sold to consumers is mislabeled as extra virgin, and in some cases, it’s not even olive oil. ~70% of imported olive oil samples failed U.S. Department of Agriculture sensory standards for extra virgin olive oil.
· Most cinnamon sold in the United States is actually cassia. Read this: http://www.spice-racks.com/cinnamon-the-truth-about-this-spice/
· In Europe, selling anything called champagne is illegal unless it came from Champagne, France, but in the United States such labels are rampant.
· Consumers who bought wild salmon were acting buying fish that was farmed.
· ‘Honey laundering’ — mislabeling cheap Chinese honey as more expensive varietals. There’s also a good chance that many honeys on U.S. store shelves contain high fructose corn syrup.
· Maple syrup
· Coffee is ground and easily mized with Chicory, roasted corn, malt, or glucose
· An expensive spice, saffron accounts for about 5 percent of all food fraud cases, and other spices and similar goods (like vanilla extracts) also sometimes contain fraudulent ingredients.
· Cheese – Many of the cheese products and imitation cheeses found in supermarkets are labeled as such because they don’t contain the milk fat or moisture content that would allow them to be judged by the same standards as pure cheese. They may contain little actual cheese and a lot of other things, like vegetable oil, food colorings, milk protein concentrate, and additives like maltodextrin, potassium sorbate, and sodium phosphate.
There are some tips, however, to get what you pay for.
1. Buy the good stuff.
· Squeeze your own limes instead of buying a bottle of lime juice.
· Grind your own spices and brew loose tea instead of packets.
· Buy coffee in its whole bean form and grind it at home.
· try to buy honey from local farmers or beekeepers that you know and trust.
· Buy whole fish, instead of pre-cut filets
2. Shop smart
· Whole food items are a safer bet. They cost more, so it’s up to you to decide if that’s a deal breaker. But think about this: Most of the fraudulent food listed in this article do not feature healing benefits. If you’re buying a fake, you’re saving cash but hurting your body. Join a co-op, a CSA or shop carefully at your local whole food grocery store.