NEW PROTOCOL FOR SPECIES MIX TESTING IN RETAIL MULCH SAMPLES

Wood and Fiber Science

View Publication Info
 
 
Field Value
 
Title NEW PROTOCOL FOR SPECIES MIX TESTING IN RETAIL MULCH SAMPLES
 
Creator Michael, Judd H.
Ray, Charles D.
 
Subject
mulch, species mix, cypress, regulators
120.7; 90.300
 
Description Many millions of bags of mulch are sold at retail in the United States each year. Most mulch products claim to be of a certain species, with cypress being perhaps the most widely marketed. Unfortunately, it is practically impossible for the average consumer to know with certainty whether a product is indeed the species listed on the packaging. Claims of misleading behavior by some producers raise the question of whether species mix should be more closely monitored. Regulators charged with ensuring fair competition and consumer welfare, however, do not have an accurate means to determine species content. It would be difficult, if not impossible, to determine the species mix for 100% of the wood particles in a package of mulch because of the inability to identify species of the smallest particles, and the impracticality of 100% sampling in the intended use. We propose and develop a new method to allow analysts to estimate the percentage of a given species in samples of mulch, with a focus on cypress. This case study illustrates our methods and highlights the challenges in accurately determining species mix in the type of wood product. We purchased and tested 10 bags of cypress mulch obtained from six different states. Results indicate that one producer was filling some bags with only 50% cypress and others with no cypress. Consumers may therefore suffer as they receive a lower valued species, whereas honest competitors are also harmed. The wood science community could help regulators and consumers by developing a method by which small particles of wood could be positively identified as to species. Improved methods for species identification are relevant for a wide variety of purposes ranging from identifying consumer products to upholding the U.S. Lacey Act. 
 
Publisher Wood and Fiber Science
 
Contributor
 
Date 2020-10-28
 
Type info:eu-repo/semantics/article
info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersion

 
Format application/pdf
 
Identifier http://wfs.swst.org/index.php/wfs/article/view/2954
 
Source Wood and Fiber Science; Vol 52, No 4 (2020); 356-364
0735-6161
0735-6161
 
Language eng
 
Relation http://wfs.swst.org/index.php/wfs/article/view/2954/2597
http://wfs.swst.org/index.php/wfs/article/downloadSuppFile/2954/1640
http://wfs.swst.org/index.php/wfs/article/downloadSuppFile/2954/1648
http://wfs.swst.org/index.php/wfs/article/downloadSuppFile/2954/1649
http://wfs.swst.org/index.php/wfs/article/downloadSuppFile/2954/1650
 
Rights Copyright (c) 2020 Wood and Fiber Science
 

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