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Substitution fraud likelihood for celery seed

Food fraud

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#1 TG_Mac

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Posted 20 April 2019 - 09:11 PM

Hi all, I am working on my company's Vulnerability Assessments. I have run into a problem which is that my coworker is worried about suppliers substituting cheaper lovage seeds for celery seeds. Does anybody know how easy or likely this would be for a supplier to accomplish this fraud?



#2 SQFconsultant

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Posted 21 April 2019 - 12:38 AM

Your co-worker has good reason to be concerned. While the plants differ in appearance the price on the open market for lovage seeds vs celery seeds are substantial with lovage being much cheaper.  Lovage is also substantially more potent in flavoring than the celery seed.

 

It would make sense that a supplier could easily substitute or mix in lovage seed as it smells like celery seed.


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#3 SQFconsultant

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Posted 21 April 2019 - 02:33 PM

Just wanted to add, the seeds are very similar in appearance.


Kind regards,
Glenn Oster
 
GOC Group | +1.800.793.7042 | Serving the Food, Food Packaging, DC, Restaurant & Hotel Industry 
SQF On-Site & Remote System Development, Implementation & Certification Consultants
GFSI (Broadscope) Certification Continuity eConsultants | EMF Consulting | Approved Supplier
Business Operational Consultants | Blockchain & Crypto-Currency Developer Consultants
Trouble-Shooting & Turn-Around Consulting for food manufactuers on-site & remote
Internal Auditor, PCQI & Consultant Start-Up Training | eConsultant | SQF-GAP | EMF Consulting
Serving Small Family Owned Operations to Large Businesses - USA, Panama, Costa Rica & Caribbean

http://www.GlennOsterConsulting.com  

 

 

What's it worth to you?

https://bit.ly/3dXaqfs

 

 


#4 Hank Major

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Posted 22 April 2019 - 08:19 PM

Hi TG_Mac, and welcome to the Forum.  I ran into this issue a while back, and here is a write-up of what I found: 

 

Investigation of Lovage Seeds vs Celery Seeds Food Fraud 

 

As far as the potential of suppliers substituting Lovage Seed (Levisticum officinale) for Celery Seed (Apium graveolens), I purchased packages of Lovage Seed from a garden supply company and compared them to a sample of Whole Celery Seed from stock. 

 

Although they appear similar in photographs, Lovage Seeds are quite large compared to Celery Seeds, perhaps 10 times bigger by mass or volume.  There is no way one could be mistaken for the other in Whole form.  Organoleptically, they were nearly identical in odor but dissimilar in flavor.  Lovage Seeds have a rustic hay-and-licorice taste, which is not bad, but it could never be mistaken for Celery Seed. 

 

In conclusion, it is highly unlikely that Lovage Seed would be deliberately substituted for Celery Seed, and if they were they would be readily detectable by appearance in Whole form and by taste in Ground form.  Lovage Seeds and Leaves are perfectly acceptable food products on their own, as an ingredient in soups, sauces, stews, potato salads and possibly in craft beers.  
 



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#5 Charles.C

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Posted 23 April 2019 - 03:58 AM

Not my area but FWIW  -

 

Attached File  celery.PNG   38.59KB   0 downloads

https://hubpages.com...s#txtd_20527826

 

I was unable to google any commercially reported instance of celery seeds being adulterated by lovage seeds.

 

Although, somewhat sematically confusing -

 

 

What Are Celery Seed - Lovage?

Celery Seed - Lovage can be confusing. There is the herb Celery, and there is the spice Celery Seed which is from Lovage, a false or wild celery plant.

 

Lovage grows taller than celery, and has larger darker green leaves. Its seeds, leaves and stalk can all be used in cooking, and as a substitute for celery, whose leaves and stalks bring familiar flavor to salads, soups and stocks. However, do so with moderation because the flavor is stronger than celery’s.

 

http://www.wikispice...eed-lovage.html

 

cf -

 

4. Lovage

Lovage is a member of parsley family and is native to central Asia and southern Mediterranean region. It is popularly used for its flavor and aroma which makes it an ideal celery substitute.

The plant resembles celery and the leaves are pungent. You can use the fresh leaves for the flavor. The stems and leaves can be used wherever celery is used. The dried leaves and seeds make excellent celery substitutes (8).

The seeds are aromatic and can also be used in place of fennel seeds. They are usually sprinkled on dishes, in bread dough and salad. You can grind the seeds with sea salt for creating a seasoning that can be used in place of celery seeds.

 

https://www.foodshar...ed-substitutes/

 

and one more -

 

Attached File  celery seed.PNG   82.22KB   0 downloads

(Handbook of Indices of Food Quality and Authenticity)

 


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#6 Hank Major

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Posted 24 April 2019 - 06:47 PM

I believe that that that wikispice page http://www.wikispice...eed-lovage.html is totally erroneous. Perhaps whoever wrote that "spice Celery Seed which is from Lovage, a false or wild celery plant" was confused by the obsolete name for celery, "smallage", or by such names as "leaf celery" or "wild celery". All of these are varieties of Apium graveolens, celery. 



#7 Charles.C

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Posted 25 April 2019 - 02:30 AM

I believe that that that wikispice page http://www.wikispice...eed-lovage.html is totally erroneous. Perhaps whoever wrote that "spice Celery Seed which is from Lovage, a false or wild celery plant" was confused by the obsolete name for celery, "smallage", or by such names as "leaf celery" or "wild celery". All of these are varieties of Apium graveolens, celery. 

 

Hi Hank,

 

As you say, other than wikispice, there seems a near-consensus that "celery seed" is not produced from lovage (unless via semantic error).

 

Nonetheless,  "celery seed"  does seem to geographically occur in many "forms". It also seems to be generally claimed as specifically produced from the, seemingly still existing, ancestor plant itself, aka smallage, wild celery, etc -

 

https://www.garden.e...lery-seeds-come

https://www.cooksinfo.com/celery-seed

https://www.spiceogr...m/celery-seeds/

http://theepicentre..../celery-seed-2/

 

 

Just as another illustration -

Celery Seed Cultivation

Celery Seed doesn't actually come from the same celery plant that we eat.

The ancestor of celery that most of us recognize is a plant called "wild celery" or "smallage" and celery seeds come from wild celery. From Smallage, two descendants were carefully cultivated. "Stem Celery", the celery that we eat for its stalks, and "Celeriac", the celery that we eat for its roots. Wild celery does not flower its first year and produces white flowers in its second year, which then become the seeds.

Celery Seed is commercially cultivated in India, France, Britain, Japan, China, Hungary, and the United States. The seeds grown in India are stronger and larger than Chinese celery seeds, while French seeds are a bit darker. 

Depending on the time of year, our organic celery seed may be cultivated in Egypt, India, the Netherlands or the US.

https://www.spicesin...lery-seeds.aspx

 

Based on 1st link above, the exact scientific identity of a given commercial product of "celery seed" seems open to question.

 

Based on above links, the appearance/flavour of "celery seeds" seems variable. It is unclear which variety is being referred to in OP (if known).

 

Regardless, for the specific celery seeds in the OP, should be easy to verify if the comments in Post 4 do hold. If so, substitution presumably improbable/easily detected..


Edited by Charles.C, 25 April 2019 - 11:25 AM.
edited

Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#8 Hank Major

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Posted 26 April 2019 - 08:26 PM

Just glancing at garden catalogs, it seems that there are roughly 80,000 celery seeds per ounce, versus 8,000 lovage seeds per oz. Lovage seeds are huge compared to celery seeds.







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