Agriculture 2012, 2(4), 316-324; doi:10.3390/agriculture2040316

Functional Food and Organic Food are Competing Rather than Supporting Concepts in Europe

1 Department of Organic Food Quality and Food Culture, University of Kassel, Nordbahnhofstr. 1a, D-37213 Witzenhausen, Germany 2 Division of Organic Food, Warsaw University of Life Sciences (SGGW), Nowoursynowska 159c , PL-02-787 Warszawa, Poland 3 Department of Human Nutrition, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Rolighedsvej 30, DK-1958 Frederiksberg C, Denmark 4 Louis Bolk Institute, Hoofdstraat 24, NL-3972 LA Driebergen,The Netherlands
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 24 July 2012; in revised form: 1 October 2012 / Accepted: 8 October 2012 / Published: 17 October 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Food and Health: A Paradigm Shift in Agriculture)
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Abstract: A review of recent literature pertaining to organic and functional food was conducted according its conceptual background. Functional and organic food both belong to fast growing segments of the European food market. Both are food according to the European food regulations, but organic food is further regulated by the European regulation for organic agriculture and food production. This regulation restricts the number of food additives and limits substantial changes in the food. This may cause problems in changing the food based on single constituents or attributes when applying the concept of functional food to organic food production. Claims of the influence of the food positively on health can only be accepted as true when the claims have been tested and then validated by the EU-Commission. Whereas functional food focuses on product comparison based on specific constituents or attributes, organic food as a whole has no placebo for comparison and effects on environment and society are not part of the health claim regulation. Therefore it seems rather difficult to establish the health claims of organic foods. Consumers buy organic food out of an emotional attitude and associate the food with naturalness. In contrast, the decision for buying functional food is related to rationality and consumers associate functional food with a more technological approach. For this reason, the authors conclude that the concept of functional food seems not to support organic food production in Europe.
Keywords: organic; functional; food; consumer; quality; concept

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MDPI and ACS Style

Kahl, J.; Załęcka, A.; Ploeger, A.; Bügel, S.; Huber, M. Functional Food and Organic Food are Competing Rather than Supporting Concepts in Europe. Agriculture 2012, 2, 316-324.

AMA Style

Kahl J, Załęcka A, Ploeger A, Bügel S, Huber M. Functional Food and Organic Food are Competing Rather than Supporting Concepts in Europe. Agriculture. 2012; 2(4):316-324.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Kahl, Johannes; Załęcka, Aneta; Ploeger, Angelika; Bügel, Susanne; Huber, Machteld. 2012. "Functional Food and Organic Food are Competing Rather than Supporting Concepts in Europe." Agriculture 2, no. 4: 316-324.

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