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

Sorting the Beef from the Bull: The Science of Food Fraud Forensics By Richard Evershed, Nicola Temple Cover Image
Call or email to see if a used copy is available.
Out of Print


Horse meat in our burgers, melamine in our infant formula, artificial colors in our fish and fruit--as our urban lifestyle takes us farther away from our food sources, there are increasing opportunities for dishonesty, duplicity, and profit-making shortcuts. 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 labeling a food falsely to appeal to current consumer trends--it's all food fraud. Consumers may pay the ultimate costs for these crimes, with their health and, in some cases, their lives. So how do we sort the beef from the bull (or horse, as the case may be)?

Illustrious analytical chemist Richard Evershed and science writer Nicola Temple explain the scientific tools and techniques that have revealed the century's biggest food fraud scams. They explore the arms race between scientists and adulterators as better techniques for detection spur more creative and sophisticated means of adulteration, and review the up-and-coming techniques and devices that will help the industry and consumers fight food fraud in the future. Engagingly written, SORTING THE BEEF FROM THE BULL lifts the lid on the forensics involved, and brings to light the full story of a fascinating and underreported world of applied science.

About the Author

Richard Evershed is a biogeochemistry professor at the University of Bristol and a pioneer in the world of analytical chemistry. His methodologies have been used in detecting illegal vegetable oil adulteration and have assisted the Metropolitan Police in murder investigations.

Nicola Temple is a biologist, conservationist and science writer. Nicola writes engaging stories on how research has an impact beyond the closeted world of academia. Both authors are based in Bristol, UK.

Praise For…

"At $2,000 per unit, Grouper Check and devices like it are not likely to become everyday kitchen utensils, but in the hands of vigilant government and private watchdogs using similar methods, and a public informed by books like [Sorting the Beef from the Bull], we may be more able to trust that we really ate what we thought we ate for dinner. —Natural History Magazine

"According to Evershed (Biogeochemistry/Univ. of Bristol) and conservationist and science writer Temple, the modern food processing system, with its complex food-supply chain and the ever present consumer demand for the lowest possible price, provides countless opportunities for malfeasance…Not pleasant reading for the faint of stomach, but a valuable guide for serious, conscientious shoppers. —Kirkus Reviews

"Evershed and Temple reveal the many ways food fraud occurs: sometimes from innocent motives, like repurposing old food to avoid waste; sometimes from more sinister objectives, like deliberately creating a synthetic product… Research is nicely contextualized with historical instances of fraud, as Evershed and Temple evaluate how government and nonprofit organizations are working to detect the problem and deter it." —Booklist

"Engagingly written, Sorting the Beef from the Bull lifts the lid on the forensics of food fraud and brings to light the full story of a vitally important and underreported issue." —

"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

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

"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

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

"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

"Evershed and Temple assemble a detailed compendium of the myriad devious recipes employed by the schemers within the food industry." - CHOICE magazine

"Not only will this gripping and fast-paced book scare the hell out of you, but it will open your eyes and make you a more discerning consumer--and it may make you into a devoted locavore." - Forbes, "The 10 Best Popular Science Books of 2016: Maths, Physics, Chemistry"

Product Details
ISBN: 9781472911339
ISBN-10: 1472911334
Publisher: Bloomsbury Sigma
Publication Date: April 26th, 2016
Pages: 320
Language: English