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A Dutch university has developed an analysis to detect fraud or other irregularities in products such as meat and cheese, and is looking to partner with the industry and governments to develop further food tests, according to FoodProductionDaily.com.

The first peer-reviewed, validated test, developed by RIKILT, that verifies whether eggs are organic or not is already available. The food safety institute is part of Wageningen university in Holland.

The method works by reading a ‘fingerprint’ of components of the egg. The fingerprints of authentic organic products are compared to a wide selection of similar regular products and are recorded in a database. Such fingerprints are identified with the help of a separation technique called high-pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC).

The research, which was published this year in the journals such as Food Chemistry, makes it possible to tell whether the makeup of a new product is closer to that of organic or regular products, said RIKILT.

Saskia van Ruth, product leader of the egg study, told FoodProductionDaily.com that the test is being used by bodies such as inspection and certification organisation Skal.

The test is also useful for non governmental organizations (NGO’s) such as animal welfare organizations and supermarkets, she said.

The team is currently working on further developing these methods in order to identify other products, said Ruth.

RIKILT said the first results from methods used to identify organic milk, organic ham, PDO (protected designation of origin) cheeses, and the geographical origins of butter and olive oil have already been published and/or presented to the industry.

Ruth said the team is starting to develop a test for sustainably-produced palm oil. The university is presenting posters and putting together initial ideas, but nothing has beens published to date.

The university is also developing tests for wild as opposed to farmed fish, tomato origin and the authenticity of halal meat. – Source: FoodProductionDaily.com

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