A Bayesian Approach to Predict Food Fraud Type and Point of Adulteration

Soon, Jan Mei orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-0488-1434 and Wahab, Ikarastika Rahayu Abdul (2022) A Bayesian Approach to Predict Food Fraud Type and Point of Adulteration. Foods, 11 (3).

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11030328


Primary and secondary food processing had been identified as areas vulnerable to fraud. Besides the food processing area, other stages within the food supply chain are also vulnerable to fraud. This study aims to develop a Bayesian network (BN) model to predict food fraud type and point of adulteration i.e., the occurrence of fraudulent activity. The BN model was developed using GeNie Modeler (BayesFusion, LLC) based on 715 notifications (1979–2018) from Food Adulteration Incidents Registry (FAIR) database. Types of food fraud were linked to six explanatory variables such as food categories, year, adulterants (chemicals, ingredients, non-food, microbiological, physical, and others), reporting country, point of adulteration, and point of detection. The BN model was validated using 80 notifications from 2019 to determine the predictive accuracy of food fraud type and point of adulteration. Mislabelling (20.7%), artificial enhancement (17.2%), and substitution (16.4%) were the most commonly reported types of fraud. Beverages (21.4%), dairy (14.3%), and meat (14.0%) received the highest fraud notifications. Adulterants such as chemicals (21.7%) (e.g., formaldehyde, methanol, bleaching agent) and cheaper, expired or rotten ingredients (13.7%) were often used to adulterate food. Manufacturing (63.9%) was identified as the main point of adulteration followed by the retailer (13.4%) and distribution (9.9%).

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