Food Forensics is addressing the global problem of food fraud by the application of new science to determine authenticity, offering businesses a wide range of risk management solutions including due diligence testing, screening for labelling compliance and the profiling and creation of custom solutions for authenticity validation.
Based in the Innovation Centre on Norwich Research Park, Food Forensics has been awarded UKAS accreditation to ISO17025:2005 for the measurement and interpretation of stable isotope compositions in food, beverage and feedstuffs. It is the only laboratory in the UK to have been awarded the accreditation to date.
Food Forensics Managing Director Alison Johnson said: “Achieving our UKAS accreditation is the result of a great deal of hard work and commitment from the Food Forensics team and provides our customers, who are facing increasing risks of food fraud, accredited testing solutions. We are very appreciative of all our customers who have supported us during the accreditation process.” Although food authenticity and origin has always been high on the public’s agenda, the horsemeat scandal in 2013 placed the food industry under intense scrutiny; completely undermining consumer confidence in the food industry. The subsequent publication of the Elliott Review in September 2014 made it increasingly important for businesses to demonstrate their due diligence when verifying product claims.
Food Forensic analyses the stable isotopic compositions of individual foods or beverages and compares these to its authentic reference datasets to establish the validity of claims on the label.
The company has developed a wide portfolio of solutions covering both country of origin claims (country or region) and verification of production system (organic, free range etc). The company’s customers include primary producers and processors through to blue chip retailers who insist on optimum due diligence and risk profiling to help protect their product integrity. Food Forensics is working with its customers to establish robust Food Fraud Risk Management systems and test modelling to mitigate and monitor risk.
Food Forensics has also established a strategic partnership with Centre Testing International (CTI), which operate in over 30 labs across China. CTI is one of the largest and fastest growing testing companies in China. Food Forensics has been selected as CTI’s partner to establish a stable isotope testing laboratory in Shanghai. The Shanghai laboratory will be commissioned in February 2015 and will initially focus on developing solutions for the local market, as well as providing Food Forensics with reference datasets of authentic Chinese export products.
Alison commented: “We are very excited by this partnership with CTI. Working together will enable both CTI and Food Forensics to provide enhanced solutions to our customers and give both companies global reach.”
The Innovation Centre at Norwich Research Park has over 30 state-of-the-art office and laboratory units set within a customised three-storey building. The office and laboratory suites are designed and fitted out to the highest standards for businesses involved in all aspects of science, technology and support services, including food, health, environmental sciences, bioscience, DNA technologies, pharmaceutical, clean energy, IT, software development and sustainable raw materials for industry. The facilities include spacious, bespoke wet laboratory and offices suites, integral shared access laboratory service facilities and equipment, tailored to tenants’ requirements, high bandwidth internet access, a staffed reception and offices support services within a Business Centre.