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Food quality: A summary of research conducted under the German Federal Programme for Organic Agriculture and other forms of Sustainable Agriculture

ANON, AN (2012) Food quality: A summary of research conducted under the German Federal Programme for Organic Agriculture and other forms of Sustainable Agriculture. Organic Research Evaluations, Berlin, Eberswalde and Hamstead Marshall.

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Food quality has been a strong focus of the BÖL research programme since it started in 2001. Among other things, the policy on EU organic regulations was supported with research projects; for example regarding the discussion concerning the admission of meat curing agents (nitrite and nitrate) in 2006. In a project on this subject, consumer acceptance of cured meat products, not using these curing agents, has been described as surprisingly positive, and the practical use of alternative materials and technologies was evaluated. It was found that the implementation of new technologies to reduce the use of curing agents was mainly inhibited by their lacking acceptance in practice, technical adaptation needs and investment in product development as well as disputed legal issues. As part of another project, a guide for processors was created, within which the new methods and solutions were presented.
To enhance knowledge transfer regarding the new EU hygiene standards for organic meat proces-sors in 2008, a number of general information and specific documents for the admission application as well as templates for the necessary internal controls were developed.
The general use and suitability of new organic food additives were also examined. Different sub-stances, which could serve as binding agents or antioxidants, were tested. Locust bean gum, guar gum, xanthan and agar agar showed a sufficient bond-stabilising effect without affecting the sensory quality of the products. Substances such as ascorbic acid, citric acid, rosemary extract, ginger and lemon juice showed a satisfactory effect against oxidative browning reactions. Furthermore, the use of rye sprouts as an ingredient in wheat bread produced very positive results: a study found that the volume, crumb firmness and crumb elasticity could be improved. The use of ingredients from yam (Dioscorea batatas) was investigated regarding the potential sensory and health benefits for flour blends. In another project, the use of yeast extract in organic foods was reviewed. It was shown here that there is very little research about the components and nutritional effects of yeast extract; also a survey among experts could not come to a clear formulation of conclusions. Thus, it was recommended that each processor should decide for or against the use of yeast extract in each particular case. Since 2008, an additive list is now being published annually and a website has been created where the manufacturers of additives can register themselves and sign up their organically certified and non-certified commercial products for evaluation.
The data from the National Nutrition Survey II (NVS II) in 2010 were analysed in detail, looking at organic buying habits in relation to socio-demographic characteristics, parameters of health and nutrition behaviour as well as food consumption. Over 13,000 participants, aged between 18 and 80 years, were included in this survey. The derived recommendations show considerable potential. It was found for example, that organic buyers compared with non-organic buyers are more likely to lead a healthier lifestyle. Altruistic buying motives, such as interest in fair trade, animal welfare and the renunciation of the use of genetic modification, have been identified as a central driver of organic buying behaviour. It was also recommended, in addition to ethical arguments, to integrate health benefits more directly into the marketing of organic food. Further results from the BÖLN research on food quality and processing are continuously published at www.bundesprogramm-oekolandbau.de.

EPrint Type:Other
Agrovoc keywords:
Food quality
Subjects: Food systems > Food security, food quality and human health
Research affiliation: Germany > Federal Organic Farming Scheme - BOELN
Germany > Federal Organic Farming Scheme - BOELN > Food > Quality
UK > Organic Research Centre (ORC)
Related Links:http://www.bundesprogramm-oekolandbau.de/
Deposited By: Padel, Dr Susanne
ID Code:21871
Deposited On:21 Dec 2012 15:45
Last Modified:21 Dec 2012 15:45
Document Language:English

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