FQD-36306 Food Fraud and Mitigation


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Group work25
Course coordinator(s)prof. dr. ir. SM van Ruth
Lecturer(s)prof. dr. ir. SM van Ruth
Dr SW Erasmus
prof. dr. ir. IMCM Rietjens
prof. dr. mr. W. Huisman (VU Amsterdam)
Examiner(s)prof. dr. ir. SM van Ruth


Food fraud has been with us for millennia, but has become more advanced in the recent past. Originally adulteration of foods consisted of compositional fraud, i.e. dilution of products and admixture or replacement with lower value ingredients. Consumers are nowadays also interested in where there food comes from and how it has been produced, which add value to the product. This has aspect has led to a new kind of fraud, i.e. deception in regard to geographical and production system origin. Furthermore we have to consider fraud in view of processing and counterfeiting of high value products. Recent global food fraud scandals have further highlighted the need to strengthen companies' ability to mitigate against the risks of food fraud within their organizations and across their supply chain. Authorities, consumers and other stakeholders expect food companies to act proactively and mitigate against food fraud risks.
In this course, the student will learn about;
- definition and prevalence of food fraud as well as the legislation context;
- consumer and industry perceptions of food fraud;
- factors contributing to the fraud vulnerability of companies and chains, including criminological aspects;
- fraud vulnerability assessment strategies;
- soft and hard controls to reduce the vulnerability to fraud;
- basics of mass balance and practical examples;
- basics of analytical tests for fraud detection in and beyond the laboratory;
- food fraud mitigation in practice by guest speakers from industry, authorities, and retail.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- explain the theoretical concept of food fraud;
- describe relevant fraud indicators;
- describe fraud vulnerability assessment strategies and interpret fraud vulnerability assessment results;
- select relevant control measures to reduce the vulnerability to fraud for various cases;
- describe various groups of analytical tests and their user groups;
- identify the pros and cons of soft and hard controls in various situations.


- lectures;
- case studies in small groups;
- practical demonstrations.


The final grade is based on:
- a written theory examination (80%);
; - a written report of the group activities and an assessment of group activities (20%);
Both parts should be passed with a minimal mark 5.0 (combined average at least 5.5).


Course guide and hand-outs.

Restricted Optional for: MFSFood SafetyMScA: Applied Food Safety5AF
MFQFood Quality ManagementMScA: Quality Control and Assurance5AF
MFQFood Quality ManagementMScD: Quality Management and Entrepreneurship5AF