EU Coordinated Control Plan for Herbs and Spices
The European Commission coordinated an EU Coordinated Control Plan (the Plan) for Herbs and Spices in view of estimating the prevalence of non-compliances and the possible illegal practices in the marketing of herbs and spices in the European Union.
The Plan focused on the (partial) substitution of the named herb/spice by another botanical material, the extension by addition of fillers (e.g. starch, flour, dust, chalk, etc.) and/or the enhancement of colour by a non-authorised additive (e.g. synthetic dye). Only a few herbs and spices were included: pepper, paprika/chili, saffron, oregano, curcuma (turmeric) and cumin. Other herbs, other spices and mixes were not targeted.
Twenty-one Member States, Norway and Switzerland submitted nearly 1.900 samples for analysis to the Joint Research Centre (JRC). The sampling campaign started in July 2019 and halted in October 2019. The majority of the samples were processed products (i.e. ground or crushed) and were for a large part randomly taken along the trade chain (from EU borders to retail level). Results of these analyses were compared against available ISO standards.
Full details are for download here.