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Projects - Y (Yuzheng) Yang

Food fraud is not new for us, various food fraud incidents happened in the past decades, such as melamine in pet food and infant formula in 2008 and horse meat in ground beef in 2013. These cases not only brought large economic losses of companies, but also had an influential impact on human health and public confidence. Dairy products are in the top of most adulterated food products all around the world. Many factors lead to the adulteration of a product, such as complicated composition, long supply chain, large economical profit and lack of effective detection methods.  Milk and milk products, with all these risk factors mentioned above, have become an easy target for fraudsters. Facing the complicated dairy supply chain, an efficient food management system is necessary to prevent the fraud incidents. In order to assure the authenticity of milk and deal with dairy fraud issues, one has to reveal the risk factors in dairy supply chain, get a deep understanding of authentic milk characteristics and have effective analysis techniques to detect the adulterations at the critical points along the supply chain.

The objectives of this project are: (a) to elucidate the  typical fraud risk factors in the dairy supply chain in China, (b) to explore the unique physical and chemical characteristics to discern anomalies from normal milk by portable means to mitigate the milk fraud risks.

The project is divided into five sub-projects which aim:

  • To understand the dairy supply chain network and the current food safety and quality management systems.
  • To explore the fraud risk factors in the dairy supply chain, and to develop an assessment protocol which can elucidate the vulnerable points.
  • To reveal the vulnerable points with the newly developed assessment protocol in China and to evaluate the protocol in practice.
  • To examine the changes of physical and chemical characteristics of normal and adulterated fluid bovine milks and to develop a fingerprint approach.
  • To inventory prevalence of milk anomalies using the newly developed portable approach in China, and to examine the sensitivity and selectivity of the method in practice.