Food fraud is costing UK shoppers £7bn a year, according to a Which? report.

Most cases involve products that are in high demand but limited supply, making organic a particular target. But help could be at hand.

Boffins at the Central Science Laboratory have developed a new technique to spot the difference between organic and conventional meat, and in turn protect the industry's reputation.

"Suspicion over the genuine provenance of meat sold as organic has been highlighted in the press recently," explains CSL's Mitch Kelly.

"Concerns that consumers are paying premium prices for conventionally produced meats labelled as organic have heightened the search for methods to detect whether animals have been produced according to well-defined organic standards."

CSL has developed a new test that shows the history of antibiotic use in animals. Limited use of antibiotic drugs is permitted for therapeutic purposes in organic regimes meaning that residues of veterinary medicines can occasionally be found in organic meats. The new test will be able to tell the difference between this occasional drug use and more regular consumption. "The new test allows inspectors to differentiate between animals that have been treated once and those treated over an extended period," says Kelly.

"Unlike muscle tissues, in which residues deplete rapidly, sections of bones when viewed under UV light show whether antibiotic drugs have been included in the diet."

So, food fraudsters beware. Producing organic food may rely on a more traditional form of farming, but policing what ends up in stores has gone hi-tech.