Adulteration and Contamination Prevention

Adulteration and food fraud can pose serious issues for companies. The most common examples of economically motivated adulteration involve the addition of materials to make a food seem more valuable and while this is frequently not a safety issue, it is of concern to the entire food industry. A number of resources are available from ASTA and other organizations to address adulteration and food fraud.

Additionally, ASTA provides members-only resources to mitigate the potential presence of contaminants in spices including allergens, heavy metals, agricultural chemicals, and food dyes. These resources can be accessed from the sidebar on the righthand side of this page.


ASTA Resources

Other Resources

Identification and Prevention of Adulteration Guidance Document
Adulteration is one of the major concerns of the spice industry and this guidance document provides a tool for companies to identify circumstances when adulteration may occur and then take steps to prevent it. The ASTA guidance is based on a publication developed by the British Retail Consortium, the Food and Drink Federation and the Seasoning and Spice Association.
Decernis Food Fraud Database
The Food Fraud Database is constantly updated and can be used to assess existing and emerging risks and trends for economically motivated adulteration, authenticity, fraud, or counterfeiting issues for food ingredients.  It may also be useful in managing the risk of food fraud by providing a library of detection methods reported in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Furthermore, the Food Fraud Resource Center provides additional resources and is consistently updated.Another resource of note is HorizonScan, the world’s most comprehensive database for food safety incident reporting, beyond food fraud, tracking current chemical, biological and physical hazards in 600 food ingredients and products globally.
Member Self Regulation Program
ASTA is committed to ensuring clean, safe spice and the Self-Regulation Program was developed as a tool to facilitate that effort. Members who believe a spice has been adulterated may file a confidential report with ASTA’s legal counsel who will investigate the allegation. Complete details on the scope of the program and how to file a report are contained in the materials.
USP Food Fraud Mitigation Guidance
The U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) has developed Food Fraud Mitigation Guidance. Published in October 2016, the guidance provides tools to assist users in the development of a personalized preventive management system to counter food fraud.
ASTA Members-Only Resources on Contamination Prevention and Management

Guidance on food fraud mitigation
Download Food Chemicals Codex



For questions, please contact ASTA at (202) 331-2460 or email us at [email protected]