Researchers at the University of Copenhagen have developed a new approach that helps public agencies and commercial interests combat fraudulently-labelled organic foods.
By looking at how organic plants are fertilised, the method provides a deeper, more accurate portrayal of whether eco-labelled produce is indeed organic. According to experts, imported organic fruits and vegetables are susceptible to food fraud.
Assistant Professor Kristian Holst Laursen heads a research group in the field of plant nutrients and food quality at the University of Copenhagenâ€™s Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences. The group has just developed an analytical method that can inform public agencies and importers whether eco-labelled fruits and vegetables are indeed organic.
“Our method can be used to distinguish organic vegetables from conventionally farmed produce by looking at how plants have been fertilised,” says Laursen. He adds that the scope of tomatoes, potatoes and apples and other produce that fraudulently receive eco-labels is unknown as there has never been an examination of the fertilisers used.