Special Issue "Sustainability in Food Consumption and Food Security"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (29 February 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. József H.c. Popp
Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Sectoral Economics and Methodology, Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Debrecen, 4032 Debrecen, Hungary
Interests: agricultural economics; bioenergy; climate change; food security; circular economy
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Zoltán Lakner
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Food Economics, Szent István University, 1114 Budapest, Hungary
Interests: food system analysis; econometrics and mathematical modeling in food chain; food chain
Dr. Judit Oláh
Website
Guest Editor
1. Faculty of Economics and Business, Institute of Applied Informatics and Logistics, University of Debrecen, 4032 Debrecen, Hungary
2. TRADE Research Entity, North-West University, 1900 Vanderbijlpark, South Africa
3. Department of Management, Faculty of Applied Sciences, WSB University, 41-300 Dabrowa Górnicza, Poland
Interests: logistics management; food; bioenergy; food chain; Industrie 4.0
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The transformation of food chains towards sustainability in food consumption and food security is a global issue, connected with the global challenges of poverty reduction, employment and urbanization. Combating malnutrition—undernutrition and micronutrient deficiencies—as well as overweight and obesity is an increasing problem. Research can find sustainable solutions to challenges facing the global and national food systems relating to sustainable food consumption and food security. The integrative food systems approach encompasses all of the steps involved, from growing through to processing, transporting, trading, purchasing, consuming food, and disposing of or recycling food waste. The main topics to be examined are the following: Ensuring sustainable food production (land and sea), sustainable diets and sustainable communities, including issues for agricultural transformation in face of increasing competition for land use; promoting healthy food systems and increasing the focus on nutrition, with multiple implications for diet quality, vulnerable groups, and informed choice; biotechnology could play an important role in climate change mitigation (e.g., nutrient-efficient plants) and adaptation (e.g., drought-tolerant plants), renewable energies, biodegradable products, rural development, and global food security; identifying the means to promote resilience, including resilience in ecosystems and in international markets; responding to climate change and other environmental and social change. The focus should also cover issues for vulnerable groups such as mothers and children, the elderly, patients, and migrants to understand the general aspects of consumer behavior. Sustainability related to product standards and reactions of consumers to these standards are also of great importance.

Prof. Popp József
Prof. Zoltán Lakner
Dr. Judit Oláh
Guest Editors

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. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly 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 1900 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.

Keywords

  • Food from land and sea
  • Food and nutrition security
  • Reducing waste in the food chain
  • Food science and technology
  • Sustainable agri-food value chain and labels
  • Digitalisation in the food chains
  • Obesity
  • Innovative, sustainable diets
  • Global markets, fair trade
  • Sustainable transportation
  • Local food shopping habits and attitudes
  • Ethical consumption
  • Behavior change
  • Sustainable crop protection
  • Genetic engineering, biotechnology

Published Papers (15 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Environmental Determinants of a Country’s Food Security in Short-Term and Long-Term Perspectives
Sustainability 2020, 12(10), 4090; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12104090 - 16 May 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
About 10% of the world population suffered from hunger in 2018. Thereby, the main objective of this research is the identification of environmental drivers and inhibitors of a country’s food security in the short and long run. The Food Security Index (FSI) was [...] Read more.
About 10% of the world population suffered from hunger in 2018. Thereby, the main objective of this research is the identification of environmental drivers and inhibitors of a country’s food security in the short and long run. The Food Security Index (FSI) was constructed from 19 indicators using Principal Component Analysis. Identification of the short- and long-run relationships between the FSI and environmental factors was realized with the pooled mean-group estimator for 28 post-socialistic countries for 2000–2016. Empirical research results showed that a country’s food security in the short run is affected by greenhouse gas emissions but boosted by the increase of renewable energy production. Reduction of carbon dioxide emissions, electrification of rural populations, access to clean fuels, renewable energy production, arable land, and forest area growth might be essential tasks in order to ensure countries’ food security in the long-run. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Food Consumption and Food Security)
Open AccessArticle
Paucity of Nutrition Guidelines and Nutrient Quality of Meals Served to Kenyan Boarding High School Students
Sustainability 2020, 12(8), 3463; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12083463 - 24 Apr 2020
Cited by 3
Abstract
Adequate nutrition is vital for the optimal growth, development, and general well-being of adolescents. A lack of nutritional guidelines for school meals poses a major challenge in the provision of nutritious meals to students in Kenyan boarding high schools. The aim of the [...] Read more.
Adequate nutrition is vital for the optimal growth, development, and general well-being of adolescents. A lack of nutritional guidelines for school meals poses a major challenge in the provision of nutritious meals to students in Kenyan boarding high schools. The aim of the study was to investigate the nutrient quality and portion sizes of meals served to students and the adequacy of the meals in meeting students’ health requirements. A cross-sectional study was carried out among 50 catering or kitchen managers of 50 high schools in Kenya. Data were obtained through researcher-assisted questionnaires. It was established that menus were simplistic in nature, lacked variety, and were repetitive. With regard to nutrients, menus offered to students were excessively highin dietary fiber, containing three or five times more than the recommended daily intake. In most cases, students were underfed on nutrients such as carbohydrates, vitamin A, folic acid, potassium, calcium, proteins, and vitamins B1–12, resulting in low energy provision. It is concluded that a majority ofthe Kenyan high schools studied do not provide nutritionally adequate meals. The government of Kenya should have nutrition guidelines to ensure that schools provide diets with high foodand nutrient quality to students. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Food Consumption and Food Security)
Open AccessArticle
Quantification of Household Food Waste in Hungary: A Replication Study Using the FUSIONS Methodology
Sustainability 2020, 12(8), 3069; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12083069 - 11 Apr 2020
Cited by 4
Abstract
Household food waste accounts for the most significant part of total food waste in economically developed countries. In recent times, this issue has gained recognition in the international research community and policy making. In light of the Sustainable Development Goals of FAO, mandatory [...] Read more.
Household food waste accounts for the most significant part of total food waste in economically developed countries. In recent times, this issue has gained recognition in the international research community and policy making. In light of the Sustainable Development Goals of FAO, mandatory reporting on food waste has been integrated into European legislation, as a basis of preventive programs. The paper presents the results of research that aimed to quantify the food waste generated by Hungarian households. Research methodology was based on the EU compliant FUSIONS recommendations. In total, 165 households provided reliable data with detailed waste logs. Households were supported by kitchen scales, measuring glasses, and a manual. Based on the extrapolation of the week-long measurement, the average food waste was estimated to be 65.49 kg per capita annually, of which the avoidable part represented 48.81%. Within the avoidable part, meals, bakery products, fresh fruits and vegetables, and dairy products are accountable for 88% of the mass. This study was a replication of the first Hungarian household food waste measurement conducted in 2016 with the same methodology. Between the two periods, a 4% decrease was observed. The findings, for instance the dominant share of meals in food waste, should be put in focus during preventive campaigns. National level food waste measurement studies using the FUSIONS methodology should be fostered by policy makers to establish the foundations of effective governmental interventions and allow for the international benchmarking of preventive actions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Food Consumption and Food Security)
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Open AccessArticle
Crisis Response and Supervision System for Food Security: A Comparative Analysis between Mainland China and Taiwan
Sustainability 2020, 12(7), 3045; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12073045 - 10 Apr 2020
Abstract
In Mainland China, major food security incidents have occurred with high frequency, of which the number and degree of harm are both increasing. At the same time, Taiwan’s food security crisis has also been spreading. For these reasons, this article makes a comparative [...] Read more.
In Mainland China, major food security incidents have occurred with high frequency, of which the number and degree of harm are both increasing. At the same time, Taiwan’s food security crisis has also been spreading. For these reasons, this article makes a comparative analysis of food security issues between Mainland China and Taiwan from a legal point of view and identifies the blind spots of the legal system and supervision using official documents and research papers regarding the most typical incidents in the period of 2008–2019. The results indicate that, compared with Mainland China, Taiwan has a better food security supervision system, and its experience with the supervision system, specific rules, social supervision, and responsibility is worth investigating. However, while there are loopholes in criminal law in Mainland China, which has not formed a complete system, criminal law in Taiwan is also weak in terms of regulation of food security incidents. Based on the results, this article puts forward suggestions with the expectation that, in the face of an increasingly severe food security crisis, Mainland China and Taiwan will strengthen their cooperation in constructing legal systems for food security supervision and inspection, exchange experience, cooperate in inspection, and share food security information to avoid rumors of food insecurity circulating in popular science. It is expected that the results and suggestions of this study will be helpful in the crisis response, as well as in the supervision systems in Mainland China and Taiwan for guarding food security. Although the comparative analysis is specific to the two regions, its characteristics are typical of food security globally, especially in Asia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Food Consumption and Food Security)
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Open AccessArticle
Salmon Intake Intervention in the Vulnerable Group of Young Polish Women to Maintain Vitamin D Status during the Autumn Season
Sustainability 2020, 12(7), 2829; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12072829 - 02 Apr 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Fish products are the main dietary source of vitamin D, but due to a low fish intake in the majority of European countries, an inadequate vitamin D intake is common, especially in the vulnerable group of young women for whom it is essential [...] Read more.
Fish products are the main dietary source of vitamin D, but due to a low fish intake in the majority of European countries, an inadequate vitamin D intake is common, especially in the vulnerable group of young women for whom it is essential for the osteoporosis prevention. The aim of the presented study was to assess the possibility of applying salmon intake intervention for maintaining vitamin D status in young Polish women during the autumn season, in which in Poland there is not enough sunshine exposure to generate skin synthesis. The dietary intervention within VISA Study (Vitamin D In Salmon) comprised eight weeks of daily consumption of 50 g of Atlantic salmon and was conducted in a group of 47 women aged 20–30 years. Within the study, their changes of total serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) levels were analyzed and the effectiveness of the intervention depending on age, body mass index (BMI), and baseline 25(OH)D were assessed. Until the 4th week, 25(OH)D in the studied group decreased from 57.1 nmol/L to 39.9 nmol/L (p < 0.0001), but afterward it increased until the 8th week to 54.1 nmol/L (p = 0.0005), contributing to results not differing from the baseline (p = 0.7964). At the same time, the share of respondents characterized by an inadequate vitamin D status increased until the 4th week, but afterward, it decreased until the 8th week (p = 0.0002). Neither the age (in the assessed range), nor the BMI influenced 25(OH)D during the study, but only the baseline 25(OH)D was correlated with the BMI (p = 0.0419; R = −0.2980). The baseline 25(OH)D was associated with its levels during the intervention, as well as with 25(OH)D change from the baseline values (p < 0.0001). It may be concluded that, in spite of the initial decline of the 25(OH)D observed (probably connected to the starting time of the study), afterward the salmon intake intervention contributed to its increase, while the baseline 25(OH)D status was an important determinant of the intervention effectiveness during the autumn season. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Food Consumption and Food Security)
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Open AccessArticle
Perception of Older Adults about Health-Related Functionality of Foods Compared with Other Age Groups
Sustainability 2020, 12(7), 2748; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12072748 - 01 Apr 2020
Abstract
The proportion of older adults in the population is significantly growing in the EU, therefore, wellbeing of the older population has become a social challenge. Functional foodstuffs are food products with nutritional composition that may reduce the risk of diet-related diseases or enhance [...] Read more.
The proportion of older adults in the population is significantly growing in the EU, therefore, wellbeing of the older population has become a social challenge. Functional foodstuffs are food products with nutritional composition that may reduce the risk of diet-related diseases or enhance physiological functions. Therefore, they could play an important role in prevention and mitigation of health-related problems, and in promotion of healthy ageing. The aim of this study is to present the impact of age on consumer preferences about functionality of foods, covering attitude aspects, nutrition claims, possible carriers, some particular health problems and expectations about sustainable production. The results are based on a representative quantitative survey. Findings highlight statistically significant (p < 0.05) differences in preferences of older adults compared to other age segments. They generally accept functional foods, especially when functionality is attached to increased vitamin, protein, and fiber content. Older adults also prefer products with lower salt and sugar content, which were less relevant for other age groups. Products of fruit and vegetable origin are distinguished as carriers of functional traits. Compared to other segments, older adults accept products of animal origin (especially milk products) and even breakfast products on a higher level. The paper provides details about particular health issues that could be addressed by functional foods based on actual consumer concerns. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Food Consumption and Food Security)
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Open AccessArticle
The Bioeconomy and Foreign Trade in Food Products—A Sustainable Partnership at the European Level?
Sustainability 2020, 12(6), 2460; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12062460 - 20 Mar 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
This research addresses the problem of the synergistic relationship between the sustainable development of the green economy (bioeconomy) at the European level and the commercial flows with food. Mainly, two components were analyzed and integrated: A qualitative one, on the perspective of the [...] Read more.
This research addresses the problem of the synergistic relationship between the sustainable development of the green economy (bioeconomy) at the European level and the commercial flows with food. Mainly, two components were analyzed and integrated: A qualitative one, on the perspective of the development of the bioeconomy at the European level, and a quantitative one, on the study of the nature of the inter-correlation between the exogenous indicators of foreign food trade (exports and imports) and the relevant endogenous indicators (the labor force, gross added value of agriculture, forestry and fisheries, research and development expenditure, forest area, fossil fuel energy consumption, and renewable energy consumption), for 24 European countries over a 22 year period. Exports and imports of food products are positively influenced by the added value of the agricultural sector and by the share of research and development expenditures, both in the short and long term. Renewable energy consumption influences exports in the short term, but in the long term, the forest area has a significant positive impact. Imports are negatively influenced by renewable energy consumption. The findings of this research can provide support for the future mix of policies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Food Consumption and Food Security)
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Open AccessArticle
Food Origin Traceability from a Consumer’s Perspective
Sustainability 2020, 12(5), 1872; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12051872 - 02 Mar 2020
Abstract
The awareness of food origin in the consumers’ perspective has gradually become more significant not only in reference to consumers from highly developed countries but also from emerging ones, which are already on their way from a developing to developed economy. The purpose [...] Read more.
The awareness of food origin in the consumers’ perspective has gradually become more significant not only in reference to consumers from highly developed countries but also from emerging ones, which are already on their way from a developing to developed economy. The purpose of the paper is to answer the research question by verifying four hypotheses formulated in the research process. The research question is: "Do the variables which characterize consumers of food products in Poland, including gender, age, education and financial status, affect the aspects related to food traceability, such as identification of the producer, importance of food product features when shopping, importance of the information given on food product packaging and influence of the shopping place and frequency on tracing the food origin?" The paper presents the results, analysis, and conclusions from the study in reference to the four assumed hypotheses related to the above-mentioned research question. The study was carried out on a group of 500 consumers of food products in Poland. The study topic selection is justified by the assumed significance of tracing back a food product’s origin for a consumer who functions in a globalization-based economy; this was confirmed by the subject literature presented in the paper. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Food Consumption and Food Security)
Open AccessArticle
Search Strategies in Innovation Networks: The Case of the Hungarian Food Industry
Sustainability 2020, 12(5), 1752; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12051752 - 26 Feb 2020
Cited by 3
Abstract
In the food sector, open innovation has become of particular interest. This paper considers open innovation search strategies in the food and beverages industry and examines the probability of using different innovation sources with respect to the type of innovation. Although the information [...] Read more.
In the food sector, open innovation has become of particular interest. This paper considers open innovation search strategies in the food and beverages industry and examines the probability of using different innovation sources with respect to the type of innovation. Although the information search for new ideas, tools and solutions in the innovation process regarding the scope and depth is well explored and interpreted in the literature, the probability of using the different sources with respect to type of innovation is rarely investigated. To answer these questions, first a probit, then OLS regression model is adopted, in order to understand the chance of a specific source of information being chosen, and then, to verify how much of these sources are selected in different types of innovation. Findings show that food companies use several kinds of information sources during their product, process, organization and market innovation development processes and apply different sourcing strategies based on innovation type. The study concludes that managers have to take into consideration the type of innovation when they formulate their innovation search strategies. Moreover, if they would like to strive on the European, or even more on the world market, they necessarily have to cooperate with universities and research institutes. Our recommendation for policymakers is that they should encourage the food companies in creation of a viable information network with their business, scientific and professional partners. It is also important that they help the food producers in their continuous innovation activities as well as in expanding their business to European, or even more, to world level. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Food Consumption and Food Security)
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Open AccessArticle
Sustainable Value Creation in the Food Chain: A Consumer Perspective
Sustainability 2020, 12(4), 1438; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12041438 - 14 Feb 2020
Cited by 3
Abstract
The growth of diet-related diseases is becoming an important societal concern and a challenge for a more sustainable society. This has developed important trends in food consumption, including the increasing demand for food with a natural attribute and with health claims (e.g., enriched [...] Read more.
The growth of diet-related diseases is becoming an important societal concern and a challenge for a more sustainable society. This has developed important trends in food consumption, including the increasing demand for food with a natural attribute and with health claims (e.g., enriched food). Consumers tend to evaluate these two attributes as superior ones and tend to pay a premium price for them. Accordingly, the value added by producers also will upturn if they take into consideration the consumers’ preferences. However, to the best of our knowledge, consumer preference over the two types of products (natural and enriched) is not yet completely clear. The present study tries to contribute to reducing this gap by analyzing Hungarian consumer preferences for natural fruit juices over enriched ones and exploring the drivers which guide consumer choices for the two attributes. For this purpose, we analyze young consumers’ willingness-to-pay (WTP) for natural and enriched fruit juices using a seemingly unrelated regression (SUR) to derive the two value-added activities. Our results show that the fruit juice with the natural attribute is preferred over the enriched one, and that there is a common feature behind the perception of the two attributes, namely the healthiness. Based on the natural fruit juice characteristic, these results open space for local production in gardens or in small-medium sized farms. This could have beneficial effects, both for sustainable development of rural areas and for the promotion of healthy food systems towards sustainability in food consumption. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Food Consumption and Food Security)
Open AccessArticle
Sustainable Brand Management of Alimentary Goods
Sustainability 2020, 12(2), 556; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12020556 - 11 Jan 2020
Cited by 19
Abstract
Sustainability of food production and consumption has become one of the most discussed topics of sustainable development in global context. Thus, traditional managerial patterns have to be revised according to the social request. The revisions that have been done so far are based [...] Read more.
Sustainability of food production and consumption has become one of the most discussed topics of sustainable development in global context. Thus, traditional managerial patterns have to be revised according to the social request. The revisions that have been done so far are based on relevant specifics of production and have mostly general character. Moreover, traditional managerial postulates do not change; only their way of implementation is modified. These two facts are possible reason of the practical fails in sustainable management of alimentary goods. One of these traditional managerial concepts is brand. Within this context, it has been considered as a facilitator of CSR (corporate social responsibility) activities. But the situation has changed, and the suspicion that brand loyalty is not a facilitator but an obstacle to the sustainable management is high. Thus, the importance of research of brand loyalty in scope of sustainable management of alimentary goods is indisputable. According to the above mentioned, the main goal of the contribution is to identify relevant brand value sources of loyalty in scope of sustainable brand management of alimentary goods. To achieve this, the factor analysis has been applied to provide statistical evaluation of data obtained from our own questionnaire survey. We have found out that components of brand value sources do not vary when comparing brands and those without loyal consumers. Based on this, appropriate recommendations for the theory and practice of sustainable brand management of alimentary goods have been formulated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Food Consumption and Food Security)
Open AccessArticle
Motives and Role of Religiosity towards Consumer Purchase Behavior in Western Imported Food Products
Sustainability 2020, 12(1), 356; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12010356 - 02 Jan 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
The undertaken study examines the influence of the marketing mix, consumer attributes, and the role of religiosity towards consumer purchase behavior regarding western imported food products in Pakistan. The study has used the theory of planned behaviors as underpinning foundations for testing factors. [...] Read more.
The undertaken study examines the influence of the marketing mix, consumer attributes, and the role of religiosity towards consumer purchase behavior regarding western imported food products in Pakistan. The study has used the theory of planned behaviors as underpinning foundations for testing factors. In total, 1080 respondents from eight cities in Pakistan—Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Quetta, Peshawar, Hyderabad, Larkana, and Faisalabad—were part of this study. Path analysis performed through SEM (structural equation modeling). The result unveiled that product attributes, price, self-concept, brand trust, personality, and religiosity positively correlated with consumer’s purchase intention in a Muslim country. The result of this study will also help potential future candidates for the food industry, especially those aimed at using the Asian consumer market. The penetration of western imported food may also bring convergence where the nation can feel upgraded and privileged. The study also adds to the academic literature on Muslim consumer behavior by combining numerous factors on a single model, grounded in the theory of planned behavior. Limited study has analyzed religiosity and other factors in context with a Muslim majority population. This study is a preliminary effort to understand the Muslim consumer food purchase behavior inadequately investigated by the consumer researcher. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Food Consumption and Food Security)
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Open AccessArticle
Spelt Wheat: An Alternative for Sustainable Plant Production at Low N-Levels
Sustainability 2019, 11(23), 6726; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11236726 - 27 Nov 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Sustainable agriculture strives for maintaining or even increasing productivity, quality and economic viability while leaving a minimal foot print on the environment. To promote sustainability and biodiversity conservation, there is a growing interest in some old wheat species that can achieve better grain [...] Read more.
Sustainable agriculture strives for maintaining or even increasing productivity, quality and economic viability while leaving a minimal foot print on the environment. To promote sustainability and biodiversity conservation, there is a growing interest in some old wheat species that can achieve better grain yields than the new varieties in marginal soil and/or management conditions. Generally, common wheat is intensively studied but there is still a lack of knowledge of the competitiveness of alternative species such as spelt wheat. The aim is to provide detailed analysis of vegetative, generative and spectral properties of spelt and common wheat grown under different nitrogen fertiliser levels. Our results complement the previous findings and highlight the fact that despite the lodging risk increasing together with the N fertiliser level, spelt wheat is a real alternative to common wheat for low N input production both for low quality and fertile soils. Vitality indices such as flag leaf chlorophyll content and normalized difference vegetation index were found to be good precursors of the final yield and the proposed estimation equations may improve the yield forecasting applications. The reliability of the predictions can be enhanced by including crop-specific parameters which are already available around flowering, beside soil and/or weather parameters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Food Consumption and Food Security)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Losses in the Grain Supply Chain: Causes and Solutions
Sustainability 2020, 12(6), 2342; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12062342 - 17 Mar 2020
Cited by 10
Abstract
Global grain production needs a significant increase in output in the coming decades in order to cover the food and feed consumption needs of mankind. As sustainability is the key factor in production, the authors investigate global grain production, the losses along the [...] Read more.
Global grain production needs a significant increase in output in the coming decades in order to cover the food and feed consumption needs of mankind. As sustainability is the key factor in production, the authors investigate global grain production, the losses along the value chain, and future solutions. Global wheat, maize, rice, and soybean production peaked at 2.102 million tons (mt) of harvested grain in 2018. Pre-harvest losses due to diseases, animal pests, weeds, and abiotic stresses and harvest destroy yearly amount to about 35% of the total possible biological product of 3.153 mt, with 1051.5 mt being lost before harvest. The losses during harvest and storage through toxin contamination are responsible for 690 mt, with a total of 1.741 mt or 83% of the total newly stored grain. Limited cooperation can be experienced between scientific research, plant breeding, plant protection, agronomy, and society, and in addition, their interdependence is badly understood. Plant breeding can help to reduce a significant part of field loss up to 300 mt (diseases, toxins, water and heat stress) and up to 220 mt during storage (toxin contamination). The direct and indirect impact of pest management on production lead to huge grain losses. The main task is to reduce grain losses during production and storage and consumption. Better harvest and storage conditions could prevent losses of 420 mt. The education of farmers by adopting the vocational school system is a key issue in the prevention of grain loss. In addition, extension services should be created to demonstrate farmers crop management in practice. A 50% reduction of grain loss and waste along the value chain seems to be achievable for the feeding 3–4 billion more people in a sustainable way without raising genetic yields of crop cultivars. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Food Consumption and Food Security)
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Open AccessReview
The Challenge of Feeding the World
Sustainability 2019, 11(20), 5816; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11205816 - 20 Oct 2019
Cited by 11
Abstract
The aim of the present research is to provide a comprehensive review about the current challenges related to food security and hidden hunger. Issues are presented according to major factors, such as growing population, changing dietary habits, water efficiency, climate change and volatile [...] Read more.
The aim of the present research is to provide a comprehensive review about the current challenges related to food security and hidden hunger. Issues are presented according to major factors, such as growing population, changing dietary habits, water efficiency, climate change and volatile food prices. These factors were compiled from reports of major international organizations and from relevant scientific articles on the subject. Collecting the results and presenting them in an accessible manner may provide new insight for interested parties. Accessibility of data is extremely important, since food security and its drivers form a closely interconnected but extremely complex network, which requires coordinated problem solving to resolve issues. According to the results, the demand for growing agricultural products has been partly met by increasing cultivated land in recent decades. At the same time, there is serious competition for existing agricultural areas, which further limits the extension of agricultural land in addition to the natural constraints of land availability. Agricultural production needs to expand faster than population growth without further damage to the environment. The driving force behind development is sustainable intensive farming, which means the more effective utilization of agricultural land and water resources. Current global trends in food consumption are unsustainable, analyzed in terms of either public health, environmental impacts or socio-economic costs. The growing population should strive for sustainable food consumption, as social, environmental and health impacts are very important in this respect as well. To this end, the benefits of consuming foods that are less harmful to the environment during production are also to be emphasized in the scope of consumption policy and education related to nutrition as opposed to other food types, the production of which causes a major demand for raw materials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Food Consumption and Food Security)
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