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Report: Mafia responsible for fraudulent exports of Italian food

Criminal syndicates are adulterating olive oil and other products, putting consumers at risk, according to reports from the CBS News magazine “60 Minutes.”


If you think food imports from China are the only ones in the United States adulterated by scam artists to make a buck, guess again.
Over the years, there have been numerous findings of unsafe products in Chinese food products, including baby melamine-tainted infant formula, cadmium-laced rice, tainted dog food, vinegar contaminated with anti-freeze and bean sprouts treated with a banned plant hormone to make them more attractive to consumers. Many of the food safety problems have been isolated to the Chinese domestic market, but the products often make their way to the U.S. and other markets.

Taking short cuts in food sanitation, or using cheap fillers to dupe consumers into paying more for brand-name product, however, is a global concern for regulators and public health officials.

On Sunday, the CBS News magazine “60 Minutes” aired a feature story on the mafia’s 
alleged influence over the food industry in Italy and how the organization uses its control of farmers and distributors to sell phony olive oil, wine, cheese and other products, many of which are exported to the United States.

According to the report, a large focus of the criminal enterprise, dubbed the “Agromafia,” is on extra virgin olive oil, which can sell for upwards of $50 per gallon. By diluting the extra virgin olive oil with sunflower or canola oil the mafia can produce oil for just $7 per gallon, vastly increasing its profit margin.

In November, Italian authorities seized 7,000 tons of counterfeit olive oil, much it headed to the United States and rebranded as more expensive Italian extra virgin olive oil.

The report said the mafia also uses 
detergent to make cheap cheese appear white like mozzarella and deodorizes rotten seafood with citric acid. Italian wines are also watered down with cheap grades of wine and sold at premium prices.

Up to three-quarters of the extra virgin olive oil exported to the United States from Italy has been adulterated, according to one estimate.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials said they are aware of efforts to ship fraudulent olive oil to the United States.

The fraud is not only an economic drain on legitimate producers, who lose sales, and consumers, who don't get what they pay for, but also poses health risks. Unlabeled products or chemicals introduced into food can cause allergic reactions or otherwise cause harm to unsuspecting consumers.

The situation in Italy - and China - raises serious questions about the integrity of the U.S. food supply chain and how much supermarkets and retailers know about their suppliers and the various sources of the foods they buy and sell to the U.S. market.

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While "Flavor" is very subjective, and each country that grows mangoes is very nationalistic, these are the mango varieties that are the most sought after around the world because of sweetnesss (Brix) and demand.

The Chaunsa has a Brix rating in the 22 degree level which is unheard of!
Carabao claims to be the sweetest mango in the world and was able to register this in the Guiness book of world records.
Perhaps it is time for a GLOBAL taste test ???

In alphabetical order by Country....



Alphonso (mango)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Alphonso (हापुस Haapoos in Marathi, હાફુસ in Gujarati, ಆಪೂಸ್ Aapoos in Kannada) is a mango cultivar that is considered by many[who?] to be one of the best in terms of sweetness, richness and flavor. 

It has considerable shelf life of a week after it is ripe making it exportable. 

It is also one of the most expensive kinds of mango and is grown mainly in Kokan region of western India.

 It is in season April through May and the fruit wei…

INDIA 2016 : Mango production in state likely to take a hit this year

TNN | May 22, 2016, 12.32 PM IST

Mangaluru: Vagaries of nature is expected to take a toll on the production of King of Fruits - Mango - in Karnataka this year. A combination of failure of pre-monsoon showers at the flowering and growth stage and spike in temperature in mango growing belt of the state is expected to limit the total production of mango to an estimated 12 lakh tonnes in the current season as against 14 lakh tonnes in the last calendar year.

However, the good news for fruit lovers is that this could see price of mangoes across varieties decrease marginally by 2-3%. This is mainly on account of 'import' of the fruit from other mango-growing states in India, said M Kamalakshi Rajanna, chairperson, Karnataka State Mango Development and Marketing Corporation Ltd.

Karnataka is the third largest mango-growing state in India after Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra.

Inaugurating a two-day Vasanthotsava organized by Shivarama Karantha Pilikula Nisargadhama and the Corporation at P…

Mangoes date back 65 million years according to research ...

Experts at the Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeobotany (BSIP) here have traced the origin of mango to the hills of Meghalaya, India from a 65 million year-old fossil of a mango leaf. 

The earlier fossil records of mango (Mangifera indica) from the Northeast and elsewhere were 25 to 30 million years old. The 'carbonized leaf fossil' from Damalgiri area of Meghalaya hills, believed to be a mango tree from the peninsular India, was found by Dr R. C. Mehrotra, senior scientist, BSIP and his colleagues. 

After careful analysis of the fossil of the mango leaf and leaves of modern plants, the BISP scientist found many of the fossil leaf characters to be similar to mangifera.

An extensive study of the anatomy and morphology of several modern-day species of the genus mangifera with the fossil samples had reinforced the concept that its centre of origin is Northeast India, from where it spread into neighbouring areas, says Dr. Mehrotra. 

The genus is believed to have disseminated into neighb…