German food producers sneaking fake ingredients into products

Buyers beware: The Hamburg consumer protection agency reported Friday that an increasing number of food companies are substituting artificial ingredients to cut costs without informing customers.

German food producers sneaking fake ingredients into products
Photo: DPA

Pressed fish protein that passes for shrimp and missing horseradish in wasabi peanuts are just a few examples of food “rip-offs” that the agency found in a recent round of tests.

“Apparently more and more suppliers feel compelled to save on ingredients and want to avoid one thing above all – that the consumers should notice,” a statement from the agency said.

Many of these foods are marketed as authentic items, but a close look at their nutrition labels reveals otherwise. Other items included in the agency’s updated list of offending foods were chocolate cookies sans chocolate, diluted pesto, and turkey salad without turkey.

“And this not just in low-cost brands, but also with expensive name brands,” the report said. “The fear of the consumer protection agency: that the reduction in standards can bring general quality down.”

The agency suggested that consumers abstain from buying such products to discourage the practice and report further violations.

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