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Food oils biggest culprit in food fraud

OTTAWA — The Canadian Food Inspec- tion Agency’s (CFIA) annual report on food fraud shows expensive oils are more likely to be substituted or diluted than any other food groups tested.

Food Fraud Annual Report: 2020 to 2021 outlines results of enhanced surveillance activities to test the authenticity of five foods: honey, fish, olive oil, other expensive oils (such as, sesame seed oil, grapeseed oil, coconut oil and others) and spices – the products “most likely to be misrepresented,” in Canada. Food fraud includes mislabelling, adulterating or substituting food.

Foods resulting in fraud originated both domestically and internationally. The report labelled misrepresented olive oil from Italy, Lebanon, Spain and Syria, and misrepresented honey from Egypt, Germany, Greece, India, Taiwan and Canada.

Overall, CFIA’s testing showed four commodities had satisfactory results above 87 per cent, while expensive oils recorded only 66 per cent satisfactory results in tests conducted in 2020 and 2021.

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