The Chinese milk supply chain: A fraud perspective

Yuzheng Yang, Wim Huisman, Kasper A. Hettinga, Liebing Zhang, Saskia M. van Ruth*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Food fraud has become a serious concern all over the world and especially in China. The melamine contaminated infant formula in 2008 has brought food fraud in the spotlights. This incident had grave consequences for the Chinese citizens as well as the Chinese milk industry. Fraud vulnerability assessments are the first step towards food fraud prevention and mitigation. To combat food fraud, one has to think like a criminal. In the current study, we determined the most vulnerable points in the Chinese milk supply chain, and examined the underlying causes. The fraud vulnerability perceived by 90 Chinese dairy farmers and 14 milk processors was evaluated with the SSAFE food fraud vulnerability assessment tool. Overall, actors perceived the milk supply chain as low to medium vulnerable to food fraud. Farmers appeared significantly more vulnerable than processors due to enhanced opportunities and motivations, and less adequate controls. Both geographical location of the farms and their size affected their perceived fraud vulnerability significantly.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107211
JournalFood Control
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2020


  • China
  • Dairy farmer
  • Economically motivated adulteration
  • Fraud vulnerability assessment
  • Milk processor
  • Milk supply chain


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