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Sorting the Beef from the Bull: The Science of Food Fraud Forensics

Popular ScienceNew
Horsemeat in burgers was hard to swallow, but there are far more sinister culinary crimes afoot...

By: Richard Evershed (Author), Nicola Temple (Author), Chris Elliott (Foreword By)

320 pages, b/w illustrations

Bloomsbury Sigma (Bloomsbury imprint)

Paperback | 2017 | #230837 | ISBN-13: 9781472911353
Available for pre-order: Due Mar 2017 Details
NHBS Price: £9.99 $13/€12 approx
Hardback | Feb 2016 | #230836 | ISBN-13: 9781472911339
Availability: Usually dispatched within 48 hours
NHBS Price: £16.99 $22/€20 approx

About this book

Chicken eggs that haven't come from chickens, melamine in infant's milk in China, nut shells in spices – these are just some examples of the food fraud that has occurred in recent years. As our urban lifestyle takes us further and further away from our food sources, there are increasing opportunities for dishonesty, duplicity and profit-making short-cuts.

Food adulteration, motivated by money, is an issue that has spanned the globe throughout human history. Whether it's a matter of making a good quality oil stretch a bit further by adding a little extra 'something' or labelling a food falsely to appeal to current consumer trends – it's all food fraud, and it costs the food industry billions of dollars each year. The price to consumers may be even higher, with some paying for these crimes with their health and, in some cases, their lives.

Sorting the Beef from the Bull is a collection of food fraud tales from around the world. It explains the role of science in uncovering some of the century's biggest food scams, and explores the arms race between food forensics and fraudsters as new methods of detection spur more creative and sophisticated means of committing the crimes. Sorting the Beef from the Bull equips us with the knowledge of what is possible in the world of food fraud and shines a light on the shady areas of our food supply system where these criminals lurk.

" [...] Sorting the Beef from the Bull should be a must-read [...] "
– David Firn, Financial Times

"The truth, as this eye-opening book shows, is that food crime is a global problem."
Daily Mail

"This is a thoroughly practical book. It's not all about science and global supply chains, it's also engagingly down to earth."
Country Life

"Fascinating and eye-opening, Sorting the Beef from the Bull is full of examples of how unsuspecting consumers around the world are being fooled by fraudsters. Everyone who cares about the quality of food should read this informative, enthralling book."
– Guy Crosby, science editor for America's Test Kitchen

"Nicola and Richard have opened up the complex world of food fraud into a comprehensive and well-researched journey through the food groups, alerting us to the scurrilous scams of pirates and profiteers. The technical complexity in identifying tricks of the trade are tantalisingly described within the context of stories, which bring fascination and relevance to the most ignored and pervasive mysteries of our daily lives."
– Diana Spellman, Managing Director of Partners in Purchasing


Contents

Foreword by Chris Elliot
Introduction: Not Eggsactly What You Thought

1: Food Fraud 101
2: Busting the Food Cheats
3: A Slippery Deal
4: Hake Today, Cod Tomorrow
5: What's Your Beef?
6: Milking It
7: Seasoned Criminals
8: Bogus Beverages
9: White Collard Crimes
10: Thoughts for Digestion

Appendix
Notes
Acknowledgements
Index


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Biography

Richard Evershed FRS is Professor of Biogeochemistry at the University of Bristol. He researches the diets and agriculture of our ancestors and the environmental impacts of modern farming systems. The analytical chemical methodologies he has pioneered are used widely. In the area of food fraud his team developed a method for detecting the highly lucrative but illegal adulteration of vegetable oil. Richard believes deeply in wholesome food and the responsibility of suppliers to ensure its quality and authenticity, especially given 'we are are what we hope we're eating!'

Nicola Temple is a biologist, conservationist and science writer. Her writing has taken her from the precipices of volcanoes in Ethiopia to the banks of salmon streams in Canada's temperate rainforest. Based in Bristol, Nicola works with universities, research councils and individuals to develop engaging science stories on how research has an impact beyond the closeted world of academia. It was while investigating the impact of Richard's work that Nicola was first introduced to the world of food fraud.

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