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Food frauds: 10 most adulterated foods

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What's in your food? Sometimes, reading the list of ingredients or the nutrition facts label may not tell the real story. Food adulteration, or "food fraud," occurs when an ingredient is replaced partially or fully with something different - without the knowledge of the consumer. A new study published in the April issue of the Journal of Food Science researches food adulteration to see how to better protect the nation's food supply. Why does food fraud occur? It's mostly "technical and economical," according to Dr. John Spink, study author and assistant director of the anti-counterfeiting and product protection program at Michigan State University. "However, there are some cases where there can be serious health consequences."

After reviewing more than 1,300 records and creating a database of information, researchers pinpointed the most frequently adulterated foods. What are they? Keep clicking to find out...

Food frauds: 10 most adulterated foods

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10. Vanilla extract (TIE)

vanilla extract

Percentage of total records adulterated: 2

Tampering includes substituting naturally-derived vanilla with synthetically-produced vanilla.

Food frauds: 10 most adulterated foods

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10. Maple syrup (TIE)

maple syrup Percentage of total records adulterated: 2


Food frauds: 10 most adulterated foods

Fresh grapes and basket composition. iStockphoto

10. Grape wine (TIE)

Percentage of total records adulterated: 2

In some instances, a toxic sweet chemical called diethyleneglycol has been added to wine.

Fresh grapes and basket composition.

Food frauds: 10 most adulterated foods

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10. Apple juice (TIE)

Percentage of total records adulterated: 2


Food frauds: 10 most adulterated foods

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6. Coffee

coffee, mug, beans, stock, 4x3Percentage of total records adulterated: 3

Food frauds: 10 most adulterated foods

The labor department cites a rise in jobless claims reports, the discovery of fungicide in orange juice has forced the FDA to stop shipments from foreign countries, and Ford is recalling nearly half a million minivans and SUVs. Ashley Morrison reports.

5. Orange juice

Percentage of total records adulterated: 4

Food frauds: 10 most adulterated foods

The Crocus sativus plant may be good for more than an expensive herb to season Middle Eastern food. A study in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology suggested that saffron might increase the levels of serotonin and other chemicals in the brain. The small study, which looked at 38 people over six weeks, found that saffron was as effective as fluoxetine (Prozac) in reducing symptoms of depression. Participants taking saffron also reported fewer side effects, including sweating and sexual dysfunction, than those taking fluoxetine. More from our friends at Health.com: 10 most depressing states in the U.S. Wikimedia Commons

4. Saffron

saffron

Percentage of total records adulterated: 5


Food frauds: 10 most adulterated foods

Honey is not safe for children under the age of 1 because of the risk of infant botulism, but it may help soothe an older child's throat and cough. In a 2007 study, giving half a teaspoon of honey to children ages 2 to 5 at bedtime seemed to suppress coughing, although more research is needed. (In the study, children ages 6 to 11 and 12 to 18 also benefited from 1 and 2 teaspoons of honey, respectively.) "In my experience, while there isn't a lot of medicinal evidence that honey works to stop a cough, it may help the child feel a little better," says Dr. Cardiello. More from Health.com: 12 vaccines your child needs istockphoto

3. Honey

Percentage of total records adulterated: 7

Food frauds: 10 most adulterated foods

WalMart will stay open during the storm surge, right? Don't count on it. Even if stores are open, you may be unable to get to them in the midst of flooding and heavy winds. Which is why NOAA says to stock up on food, water, and first aid equipment in advance of the storm. And FEMA recommends filling the bathtub with water ahead of time, along with any large containers. Clean water sure comes in handy when you can't flush the toilet or turn on the shower. istockphoto

2. Milk

empty refrigerator, fridge, milk, generic, stock

Percentage of total records adulterated: 14

China has experienced several recent episodes of milk tainted with the industrial chemical melamine. Melamine has been added to milk and infant formula to make them appear more rich in protein, HealthPop reported.

Food frauds: 10 most adulterated foods

Will going vegetarian help you lose weight? Likely so. Research shows that vegetarians eat fewer calories than meat eaters - and they weigh less too. And vegetarian eating has been linked to reduced risk for heart disease and diabetes, says U.S. News. But can you go without meat? Score: 2.9 istockphoto

1. Olive oil

Percentage of total records adulterated: 16

In some instances, Italian olive oil has been replaced with cheaper Greek olive oil.

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