USP Launches Revamped Food Fraud Database


The second generation of USP’s Food Fraud Database includes added capabilities that make it easier for users to identify historical trends and vulnerabilities for food fraud.

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Food manufacturers and retailers looking to mitigate the risk of ingredient adulteration now have a new interactive tool at their disposal. The U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention (USP; Rockville, MD) announced earlier this month it has launched the second generation of its Food Fraud Database (FFD 2.0), which is designed to make it easier for users to identify historical trends and ingredients that maybe be vulnerable to food fraud.

USP’s original Food Fraud Database (FFD 1.0) first debuted in 2012 as a free online resource for the food industry to view food fraud reports in a table-like database, explains Karen Everstine, PhD, scientific liason for USP’s food program. At last count, the database included information on nearly 4000 ingredients and more than 1200 different adulterants, according to Everstine. With the second generation of the database, users have an enhanced range of analytical tools to make use of that data.

“This is really more of a web-based platform, versus a kind of web-based table database,” Everstine tells Nutritional Outlook, explaining the difference between FFD 2.0 and FFD 1.0. She says USP “rebuilt everything from the ground up” in designing the new database based on feedback from industry and regulatory agencies. The result is a more interactive tool that includes a customizable dashboard, automated graphics to visually represent the data, email alert features, and report breakdown by geographic location.

“Consumers today are more educated than ever, and manufacturers risk doing irreparable damage to their brands as a result of food fraud,” says Todd Abraham, member of USP’s board of trustees, in the launch announcement. “The Food Fraud Database 2.0 provides food manufacturers with the ability to look at past incidents of fraud and take proactive steps to protect their supply chains-thus protecting their reputation and ensuring consumer confidence in their products.”

In addition to its records on ingredients and related adulterants, FFD 2.0 draws from incident reports, media publications, regulatory records, and more to create “the largest collection of food fraud reports in the world,” according to USP. A “dedicated team of analysts” is tasked with updating the database constantly, often on a daily basis, Everstine explains.

“It’s basically live updates all the time,” Everstine says.


Hazard Identification Reports

Another new feature in FFD 2.0 that was not available in the database’s first generation is a section that provides public hazard reports on many known adulterant ingredients. This is designed to help manufacturers and retailers identify potential hazards resulting from economically-motivated adulteration so they can meet requirements under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).

The new database is now available online with an annual subscription fee. It will replace FFD 1.0, which will no longer be available beginning on September 12.

“The best way to increase your chances of preventing the next food fraud incident in your supply chain is to make use of the database and other tools USP’s Expert Committee has worked on to fight food fraud in a more holistic approach,” says Jonathan W. DeVries, PhD, chair of USP’s Expert Committee on Food Ingredients. “These resources together offer manufacturers and retailers an arsenal of tools to protect their brand, comply with the regulations, and increase public confidence.”


Read more:

New NPA Database Is “More than Just Warning Letters”

CRN Taps UL to Develop Supplement Products Registry

Dietary Supplements: New Testing Tools to Catch Botanical Adulteration


Michael Crane
Associate Editor
Nutritional Outlook Magazine

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