Counterfeiting in food sector: what learn to be better prepared

29/01/2016 food counterfeiting and italian sounding


We have already talk about “Italian sounding” and counterfeiting in food sector, but now we are going to see what have to learn to be better prepared to avoid this kind of food.

We know that counterfeit food lead to economic damage for enterprises and State, but it also a risk for the health of consumers. In case of fraud also the quality of ingredients can be compromised.  A counterfeit food is made with no regard to safety standard, quality and efficiency; may contain ingredients with unknown origin and some ingredients can be replaced by less expensive ones.


Counterfeit food can harm your health

A counterfeit food is inferior in cost but also in quality than original product: an example is the case of Buffalo mozzarella counterfeit made with powder milk from Bolivia, because Bolivian milk cost 0.50 cents per kilo. Mozzarella is less expensive, but consumers aren’t buying an authentic Buffalo mozzarella and find themselves dealing with potentially harmful substances.

Most counterfeit food are marketed through 2 different way:

  1. Clandestine circuit, organized on the street, in public market or on the internet.
  2. Commercial circuit, stores and retail outlets selling both the original products and the fake products, often placed nearby on the shelf. It is in this channel that consumers are more risks, because of the trust in “official status” of the store.


The two type of counterfeiting in the food sector

The counterfeiting in the food sector can take two forms:

  1. Food fraud, falsification and adulteration

With these terms we refer to food products made from substances which differ in quality or quantity, or products which are modified by substituting or removing original ingredients or adding new ones.

  1. Falsification of brand

This kind of counterfeiting is more common abroad and relates to a false data on food or on its packaging. The falsification of brand or data food are type of counterfeit food included in Italian sounding market. Products are named with brands which sound made in Italy, but in reality they are made abroad. Colors, symbol or images on the packaging suggest the “Made in Italy”. The countries which falsify most products are USA, Latin America and Australia. The counterfeiting food together with the Italian sounding market has a global turnover estimated at 60 billion euro.


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