Keeping an eye on adulterants

It’s not a good time to be an adulterant.

But then again, was it ever a good time? Definitely no.

With the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2011 (more commonly known as FSMA),  a more stringent stance is being taken toward adulterants. For example, for the first time, allergens and certain pathogens will be considered adulterants.

Much of the legislature stems from a scandal in which milk and infant formula in China was adulterated with melamine, a compound used to make certain plastics. Thousands of people became ill and several died following the scandal.

So which foods most often are victims of adulterants? According to Discover Magazine’s 80 beats blog, the top adulterated food is….olive oil. Most often, it is mixed with other oils such as soybean or corn oil, which can trigger reactions in allergic people.

The data comes from a new database by the US Pharacopieal Convention, which chronicles adulteration incidents from 1980 to 2010.

To read the Discover article, click here.

To peruse the database from the US Pharmacopieal Convention, click here.

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