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Food Fraud: Focus on Aceto Balsamico

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Confiscation of Fake Wine and Grape Must Could Lead to Shortages

Apr 2019. In February, Europol and the Italian Carabinieri destroyed a criminal network that falsified red wine, grape must and related documents. Here, 11,000 bottles of red wine were confiscated. Due to the constant high demand for Aceto Balsamico, the focus is now shifting towards possible counterfeits.

Aceto Balsamico di Modena – Conceptual Classification

"Aceto balsamico di Modena" is a protected geographical indication (PGI) in the EU and may only be used for products which comply with the requirements of Regulation (EC) No. 583/2009. In summary these are:

  • The production takes place in the provinces of Modena and Reggio Emilia
  • Grape must comes from only one of the seven authorised grape varieties
  • As an additive only caramel is allowed

Impact on the Market

Aceto balsamico's demand has exceeded supply for years, so counterfeits are expected. The current case shows that the subject is highly topical. A possible shortage of wine vinegar and grape must of the respective provenances could lead to adulteration with vinegar of other botanical origins such as sugar beet.

Determination of Botanical Origin

Eurofins offers you the analysis of the botanical origin of the vinegar by means of isotope analysis. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any further questions.