Special Issue "Organic food: what about the nutritional value and food safety?"

A special issue of Foods (ISSN 2304-8158).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2015).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Lucy Van de Vijver
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Guest Editor
Department of Health and Nutrition, Louis Bolk Institute, Driebergen, The Netherlands

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues

The issue of whether organically grown products are better for the consumers is a pressing question that is still not unequivocally answered. Recent reviews have concluded that differences in nutritional content exist. However, there is no agreement on the significance and relevance of such data.

The consumer has little doubt. A vast group of organic consumers buys organic, maybe for personal benefit to increase health, but also out of environmental and animal welfare concerns. A lack of confidence in conventionally produced products may also contribute to such consumer behavior. The use of pesticides, antimicrobial agents, and fertilizer, and the use of artificial additives in processed food, are distrusted. Their negative impacts on the environment, and sometimes, on consumers, is confirmed frequently (such as in the rise of antibiotic resistance).

In this Special Issue, we focus on the questions of nutritional benefit and food safety: In what sense do organic and conventional products differ? Differences in primary production and processed foods are of interest. Additionally, researchers focusing on how differences in production systems affect the environment in a broader context are very much welcomed.

Dr. Lucy van de Vijver
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Foods is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Increased Foraging in Outdoor Organic Pig Production—Modeling Environmental Consequences
Foods 2015, 4(4), 622-644; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods4040622 - 02 Nov 2015
Cited by 3
Abstract
Consumers’ motivations for buying organic products include a wish of acquiring healthy, environmentally friendly products from production systems that also ensure a high level of animal welfare. However, the current Danish organic pig production faces important challenges regarding environmental impact of the system. [...] Read more.
Consumers’ motivations for buying organic products include a wish of acquiring healthy, environmentally friendly products from production systems that also ensure a high level of animal welfare. However, the current Danish organic pig production faces important challenges regarding environmental impact of the system. High ammonia emissions arise from outdoor concrete areas with growing pigs and sows on pasture possess an increased risk of nitrogen (N) leaching. Direct foraging in the range area is suggested as a way to improve the nutrient efficiency at farm level and to support a more natural behavior of the pig. Thus, by modeling, we investigated the environmental consequences of two alternative scenarios with growing pigs foraging in the range area and different levels of crops available for foraging—grass–clover or a combination of Jerusalem artichokes and lucerne. It was possible to have growing pigs on free-range without increasing N leaching compared to the current practice. The alternative system with Jerusalem artichokes and lucerne (high integration of forage) showed the lowest carbon foot print with 3.12 CO2 eq kg−1 live weight pig compared to the current Danish pasture based system with 3.69 kg CO2 eq kg−1 live weight pig. Due to positive impact on soil carbon sequestration, the second alternative system based on grass-clover (low integration of forage) showed a similar carbon foot print compared to current practice with 3.68 kg CO2 eq kg−1 live weight pig. It is concluded that in practice there is room for development of organic farming systems where direct foraging plays a central role. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Organic food: what about the nutritional value and food safety?)
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Open AccessArticle
Influences of Biodynamic and Conventional Farming Systems on Quality of Potato (Solanum Tuberosum L.) Crops: Results from Multivariate Analyses of Two Long-Term Field Trials in Sweden
Foods 2015, 4(3), 440-462; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods4030440 - 15 Sep 2015
Cited by 1
Abstract
The aim of this paper was to present results from two long term field experiments comparing potato samples from conventional farming systems with samples from biodynamic farming systems. The principal component analyses (PCA), consistently exhibited differences between potato samples from the two farming [...] Read more.
The aim of this paper was to present results from two long term field experiments comparing potato samples from conventional farming systems with samples from biodynamic farming systems. The principal component analyses (PCA), consistently exhibited differences between potato samples from the two farming systems. According to the PCA, potato samples treated with inorganic fertilizers exhibited a variation positively related to amounts of crude protein, yield, cooking or tissue discoloration and extract decomposition. Potato samples treated according to biodynamic principles, with composted cow manure, were more positively related to traits such as Quality- and EAA-indices, dry matter content, taste quality, relative proportion of pure protein and biocrystallization value. Distinctions between years, crop rotation and cultivars used were sometimes more significant than differences between manuring systems. Grown after barley the potato crop exhibited better quality traits compared to when grown after ley in both the conventional and the biodynamic farming system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Organic food: what about the nutritional value and food safety?)
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Open AccessArticle
Compositional Signatures of Conventional, Free Range, and Organic Pork Meat Using Fingerprint Techniques
Foods 2015, 4(3), 359-375; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods4030359 - 25 Aug 2015
Cited by 4
Abstract
Consumers’ interest in the way meat is produced is increasing in Europe. The resulting free range and organic meat products retail at a higher price, but are difficult to differentiate from their counterparts. To ascertain authenticity and prevent fraud, relevant markers need to [...] Read more.
Consumers’ interest in the way meat is produced is increasing in Europe. The resulting free range and organic meat products retail at a higher price, but are difficult to differentiate from their counterparts. To ascertain authenticity and prevent fraud, relevant markers need to be identified and new analytical methodology developed. The objective of this pilot study was to characterize pork belly meats of different animal welfare classes by their fatty acid (Fatty Acid Methyl Ester—FAME), non-volatile compound (electrospray ionization-tandem mass spectrometry—ESI-MS/MS), and volatile compound (proton-transfer-reaction mass spectrometry—PTR-MS) fingerprints. Well-defined pork belly meat samples (13 conventional, 15 free range, and 13 organic) originating from the Netherlands were subjected to analysis. Fingerprints appeared to be specific for the three categories, and resulted in 100%, 95.3%, and 95.3% correct identity predictions of training set samples for FAME, ESI-MS/MS, and PTR-MS respectively and slightly lower scores for the validation set. Organic meat was also well discriminated from the other two categories with 100% success rates for the training set for all three analytical approaches. Ten out of 25 FAs showed significant differences in abundance between organic meat and the other categories, free range meat differed significantly for 6 out of the 25 FAs. Overall, FAME fingerprinting presented highest discrimination power. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Organic food: what about the nutritional value and food safety?)
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Open AccessArticle
Assessment of Tetracyclines Residues and Tetracycline Resistant Bacteria in Conventional and Organic Baby Foods
Foods 2015, 4(3), 306-317; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods4030306 - 22 Jul 2015
Abstract
Children are very vulnerable to bacterial infections and they are sometimes subject to antimicrobials for healing. The presence of resistance genes may counteract effects of antimicrobials. This work has thereby compared the amount of tetracycline resistance genes, tet(A) and tet(B), between [...] Read more.
Children are very vulnerable to bacterial infections and they are sometimes subject to antimicrobials for healing. The presence of resistance genes may counteract effects of antimicrobials. This work has thereby compared the amount of tetracycline resistance genes, tet(A) and tet(B), between conventional and organic meat-based or vegetable-based baby foods and used the quantification of these genes to assess the presence of tetracycline residues in these samples. Counts of bacteria harboring the tet(A) gene were higher than those containing tet(B), and there was no difference between the organic and the conventional samples. Samples with detectable amounts of tetracycline residues were also positive for the presence of tet genes, and when the presence of the genes was not detected, the samples were also negative for the presence of residues. The percentages of tetracycline residues were higher in organic samples than in conventional ones. It cannot be concluded that organic formulas are safer than conventional ones for the studied parameters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Organic food: what about the nutritional value and food safety?)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Organic Food: A Comparative Study of the Effect of Tomato Cultivars and Cultivation Conditions on the Physico-Chemical Properties
Foods 2015, 4(3), 263-270; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods4030263 - 10 Jul 2015
Cited by 3
Abstract
The objective of this review was to present an update of the currently managed studies on the characterization physical, chemical, and sensory analysis of several tomato cultivars. This review has indicated the importance of farming system and genotype on sensory and biochemical characteristics. [...] Read more.
The objective of this review was to present an update of the currently managed studies on the characterization physical, chemical, and sensory analysis of several tomato cultivars. This review has indicated the importance of farming system and genotype on sensory and biochemical characteristics. It is necessary to use selected genotypes responding positively to organic farming in terms of sensory, biochemical characteristics and productivity aspects and to evaluate systems over more than one year of sampling. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Organic food: what about the nutritional value and food safety?)
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