Special Issue "Organic Farming: Impacts on Food Quality and Human Health"

A special issue of Agronomy (ISSN 2073-4395). This special issue belongs to the section "Farming Sustainability".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 April 2019).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Carlo Leifert
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. Faculty of Science and Engineering, Southern Cross University, East Lismore, NSW 2480, Australia
2. Centre for Organics Research (COR), Southern Cross University, East Lismore, NSW 2480, Australia
3. Stocksbridge Technology Centre (STC), Selby YO8 3TZ, UK
Interests: soil management; crop protection; crop breeding for low input systems; ‘low input’ and organic agricultural systems development; nutritional quality of organic and low input dairy production systems; food quality and safety assurance; food processing technology; nutritional control of gastrointestinal diseases in monogastric farm animals (pigs/poultry)
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Global demand for organic foods has increased rapidly over the last 20 years, and a main drive has been consumer perceptions that organic production and processing methods improve the nutritional quality of food and human health. Recent systematic reviews and meta-analyses have shown that there are significant differences between organic and conventional foods. However, there is still considerable scientific controversy about whether and to what extent these composition differences result in tangible health benefits.

This Joint Special Issue of Nutrients and Agronomy aims to present current knowledge regarding:

  • nutritionally-relevant composition differences between organic and conventional foods
  • why organic farming methods affect the nutritional composition of foods
  • potential impacts of organic food consumptions on animal and human health, and
  • potential trade-offs or synergies between food quality, safety and security impacts of organic food production

The Special Issue will include both reviews and primary research articles that focus on majors gaps of knowledge.

Prof. Dr. Carlo Leifert
Guest Editor

Keywords

  • organic food
  • nutritional composition
  • diet
  • food quality
  • pesticide residues
  • mineral nutrients
  • toxic metals
  • phytochemicals
  • fat composition
  • omega-3 fatty acids
  • obesity
  • health impacts
  • cohort studies
  • food safety
  • food security

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Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Article
Evaluation of Asparagine Concentration as an Indicator of the Acrylamide Formation in Cereals Grown under Organic Farming Conditions
Agronomy 2018, 8(12), 294; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agronomy8120294 - 06 Dec 2018
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1638
Abstract
This study investigated the impact of organically grown cereals on the level of free asparagine (Asn) with simultaneous consideration of grain yields and flour qualities over three growing seasons in Germany. Additionally, the relation of free Asn and acrylamide (AA) was investigated. By [...] Read more.
This study investigated the impact of organically grown cereals on the level of free asparagine (Asn) with simultaneous consideration of grain yields and flour qualities over three growing seasons in Germany. Additionally, the relation of free Asn and acrylamide (AA) was investigated. By including free Asn results of a second trial site, heritability of the trait free Asn was calculated. Free Asn was significantly influenced by species and within species by cultivars. Rye showed the highest free Asn amount, followed by einkorn, emmer, wheat, and spelt. Replacing rye with spelt would reduce free Asn by 85%. Cultivars differed in free Asn by up to 67% (wheat), 55% (spelt), and 33% (rye). Year significantly influenced free Asn levels. Heritability was high for wheat and spelt concerning locations, but regarding years, heritability was low for wheat but high for spelt and rye. For organically grown cereals, the relation between free Asn and AA formation has never been investigated. Across species and years, a correlation of R2 = 0.69 *** was found. Thus, free Asn can serve as an indicator for AA formation. In conclusion, the level of free Asn can be highly influenced by proper selection of species and cultivars. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Organic Farming: Impacts on Food Quality and Human Health)
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Article
Effect of Seaweed Aqueous Extracts and Compost on Vegetative Growth, Yield, and Nutraceutical Quality of Cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) Fruit
Agronomy 2018, 8(11), 264; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agronomy8110264 - 15 Nov 2018
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 1945
Abstract
The objective of this research was to evaluate the production and phytochemical quality of cucumber (Cucumis sativus) fruits, in response to the foliar application of different seaweed extracts. This study was carried out under shadow mesh conditions in the autumn–winter agricultural [...] Read more.
The objective of this research was to evaluate the production and phytochemical quality of cucumber (Cucumis sativus) fruits, in response to the foliar application of different seaweed extracts. This study was carried out under shadow mesh conditions in the autumn–winter agricultural cycle at the Instituto Tecnológico de Torreón, Torreón, Coahuila, Mexico. The experimental design was completely random, using six treatments with six repetitions each. The treatments evaluated were: Macrocystis pyrifera, Bryothamnion triquetrum, Ascophyllum nodosum, Grammatophora spp., Macrocystis integrifolia, and a control treatment with inorganic fertilization. The substrate used was a mixture of sand and vermicompost. The yield, commercial size, and phytochemical compounds of the fruit were evaluated. Results showed that the yield using Steiner solution (6.75 kg m−2) was higher than that obtained with Bryothamnion triquetrum algae (6.07 kg m−2). Regarding the phenolic content, the extracts surpassed the control treatment, with Macrocystis pyrifera and Macrocystis integrifolia being statistically equal, with values of 47.37 and 43.73 mg equiv. of Ac. Gallic 100 g fresh weight, respectively. The antioxidant capacity by ABTS+ and DPPH+ methods was higher using the treatment with Macrocystis pyrifera algae with 149.4 and 454.1 μM equiv Trolox/100 g fresh base, respectively. This treatment also presented the highest value of vitamin C with 5.07 mg/100 g fresh base, being 27% greater than the control treatment. Algae extracts increased the quality of the fruits by obtaining the highest antioxidant capacity, making their use a viable option to minimize the application of conventional fertilizers, thereby attenuating the effects on the environment and improving the health of the population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Organic Farming: Impacts on Food Quality and Human Health)
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