Australian Earth Scientists have joined forces with food scientists and chemists in an international effort to fight global food crime, using new tamper-proof technology that pinpoints where in the world particular foods have been produced.
They are calling on the Australian Government to now implement the technology.
The globalisation of world markets has increasingly led to fraudulent behaviour in the global food trade—including organised food crime.
Some traders are attempting to boost profits by deliberately mislabelling sub-standard produce. Idea is to make it appear that the product has come from countries where foods are considered to be superior and free of contaminants, such as Australia and New Zealand.
The new tamper-proof technology uses isotopic and trace element signatures unique to foods from individual regions across the world. It can now provide a forensic fingerprint showing exactly where the food was produced, right down to a district level.
Once introduced, this technology will enable Australian and New Zealand producers to maintain their high-quality market niche while also protecting domestic consumers from sub-standard imports, it says in pressrelease of the Geological Society of Australia (GSA).
That's the view of Dr Anita Andrew, a member of the GSA and an Earth Scientist involved in the development of the technology in the southern hemisphere.
The security of the food supply chain had become a huge issue, said Dr Andrew, a director of Sydney-based company Environmental Isotopes, speaking as part of the Geological Society of Australia’s Earth Science Showcase. Consumers wanted to know where their food is coming from, she said.
Dr Andrew will speak at an international meeting on food traceability, GoTrace, to be held in Wellington, New Zealand, in July.
Source: Geological Society of Australia