Fruit Quality of Organic Food: Experimental Evidence

María D. RAIGá“N, Manuel FIGUEROA, María D. GARCáA-MARTáNEZ, Adrián RODRáGUEZ-BURRUEZO, Ana FITA, Jaime PROHENS

Abstract


The public opinion has a growing concern for food health issues and is interested in the consumption of food of improved quality, which is defined by several aspects, like the internal composition, appearance of the produce, technological/commercial issues, and social and environmental criteria. In this respect, conventional agriculture has resulted in a reduction of the internal quality, resulting from a decrease in the concentrations of nutrients and bioactive substances, as well as in some non sustainable practices that have a profound impact in the environment. Organic agriculture allows the production of food without the use of chemical synthesis products and with practices that are friendlier to the environment than conventional agriculture. In addition, organic food usually has a higher concentration of nutrients and bioactive substances. In order to guarantee that the organic foods have been produced according to adequate practices, in the EU only the foods produced according to specific regulations can be labeled as organic. Several experiments, of which we summarize the results show that organic food is healthier than conventionally produced food as, depending on the crops, organic fruits and vegetables have lower concentration of nitrates, higher concentration of relevant minerals (e.g., K, Ca, Fe), and more vitamin C and total phenolics. We have also found that organic meat has more protein and less fat than conventionally produced meat. Organic eggs also have a better quality than conventionally produced eggs, with more protein and oleic acid and also keep freshness for longer time. All these results show that organic food is healthier than conventional food for human health and at the same time is produced using methodologies that are friendlier for the environment.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15835/buasvmcn-hort:6966




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