6 Food Items That May Be Padded With Ingredients Not On The Label

It’s one thing to look at the ingredients on some packaged foods and be befuddled by the presence of certain ingredients. It’s another thing when the makers of those products are using unlisted adulterants to provide filler to the products you buy.

ABC’s Good Morning America has a report on the latest study on food fraud from the U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention, which runs this searchable database at foodfraud.org.

From the GMA report, here are six popular food items that are sometimes packed with stuff you won’t see on the label:

1. Pomegranate Juice: The FDA has already warned consumers to be aware of faux pomegranate juice, and the folks at the USP say what you buy at the store is frequently adulterated with grape or pear juice, or maybe just added sugar and water.

2. Tuna: The USP says that escolar is often mislabeled as “white tuna” for consumers.

3. Tea: It’s apparently not unheard of to pad those teabags with decidedly non-tea ingredients like lawn grass or fern leaves.

4. Lemon juice: Much like the pomegranate juice, food fraudsters will water down (and add sugar to) bottles labeled “100% lemon juice.”

5. Olive oil: Many olive oil aficionados have complained for years that producers are packing bottles of olive oil with other, cheaper oils like canola.

6. Spices: Like tea, it would seem rather easy to hide a bit of lookalike filler in some spices. Among the spices called out by the USP is saffron, which is not only incredibly expensive, but can be adulterated with food colorings.