DARCOF · Research > Darcof II > Organic food and health – a multigeneration animal experiment

Organic food and health – a multigeneration animal experiment

The overall objective is to determine, if conventional and organic food products show differences in effects on animal physiology, of a type and magnitude, that indicates that such products will affect humans differently. The agricultural treatments used are:

  1. An organic cultivation treatment, with low input of nutrients through animal manure and use of catch crops, and no pesticides.

  2. A conventional cultivation system, with high input of nutrients through mineral fertiliser and intensive use of pesticides.

  3. A combination of 1 and 2, with low input of nutrients, primarily animal manure, and intensive use of pesticides.

The treatments will be established on two sites. Wheat, potatoes and oilseed rape will be produced in Foulum, and carrots, kale and mature peas in Årslev. Vegetables and fruit will be processed and dried, wheat ground and baked, and oil will be produced from the rapeseed.

The picture-developing properties of fresh plant material are examined by means of biocrystallization.

Characteristic secondary metabolites are measured in feed material from each treatment. The major nutrients in the feed plants are determined, and the biological value of major protein sources of feed plants is assessed.

Based on these results, three feed mixtures are prepared and analysed for concentrations of approximately 20 elements and 150 pesticides. Rats are fed with the three prescribed feed mixtures for two generations. Reproductive characteristics and weight gain are recorded. Groups of second generation of rats are selected for an intensive study, in which uptake and excretion of energy and protein and selected micronutrients are determined. Effect of the dietary treatments on the immunological, antioxidant, and health status of the rats will be studied. Data from the experiments are assembled and analysed using relevant models.

Poster about the project


Project title
III.4 Organic food and health – a multigeneration animal experiment (Organic Health)

Project leader
Kirsten Brandt, Ph.D., Senior scientist
Danish Institute for Agricultural Sciences, Department of Horticulture
Kirstinebjergvej 10, Postboks 102, DK-5792 Årslev
Phone: +45 63 90 43 43, Fax: +45 63 90 43 95
E-mail: kirsten.brandt@agrsci.dk

Project participants
Erik Larsen, Hanne Lindhard Pedersen, Kristian Thorup-Kristensen, Jens Peter Mølgaard, Jens Henrik Badsberg, Charlotte Lauridsen, Henry Jørgensen, DIAS
Hanne Nygaard Larsen, Susanne Bügel, Jens-Otto Andersen, KVL
Hanne Frøkiær, Technical University of Denmark
Lars Ove Dragsted, Danish Food Agency
Vagn Gundersen, Risø National Laboratory.