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DEVELOPMENT OF ANALYTICAL METHODS TO VERIFY LABELLING CLAIMS RELATING TO EGG PRODUCTION - FA0130

Description
Fraud in egg production has been highlighted by Defra’s internal customer Brian Lynch (Senior Investigating Officer, Defra Investigation Services) and Tony Potter (Technical Services Manager - Egg Marketing, Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency). Both DIS and EM-AHVLA are keen to have quantitative methods to prove production/geographical origin and the age of eggs. Current methods, based on visual inspection are subjective, qualitative and may be unreliable. This type of fraud is known to be widespread, involve organised crime and has a significant impact on the British egg industry, who are bearing the additional costs of producing eggs to high welfare standards. Furthermore, the issue of the labelling of eggs has been raised as part of the Food Information for Consumers Regulation. The Regulation 1169/2011was published in November 2011, and includes a requirement to list egg ingredients.

Fera has already demonstrated the use of non-targeted profiling to identify groups of compounds (e.g. amino acid and vitamin fingerprints) that change with the age and storage condition of meat. The same approach is applicable to determine both the method of production and Best Before date of eggs. Stable isotope fingerprinting has been successfully employed to develop methods to determine the origin of protein based foods such as beef meat and can be just as readily employed to determine the geographical origin of eggs. Furthermore, stable isotope analysis can provide information for diet reconstruction and so will help to address the issue of egg production method as well. We propose working with the egg industry and Tony Potter from AHVLA Egg Marketing (using their inspectors) to gather eggs of known origin to establish the databases that will allow us to develop robust methods to address these egg mislabeling issues.
Project Documents
• EVID4 - Final project report : FA0130 Egg labelling verification(Fera) EVID4 FINAL   (950k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2013

To: 2013

Cost: £59,994
Contractor / Funded Organisations
F E R A (FERA)
Keywords