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Effect of Organic Food Intake on Nitrogen Stable Isotopes

L. Mantha, Olivier; Laxmi Patel, Maya; Hankard, Régis and De Luca, Arnaud (2020) Effect of Organic Food Intake on Nitrogen Stable Isotopes. Nutrients, p. 2965.

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Document available online at: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-02958508


Food choices affect the isotopic composition of the body with each food item leaving its distinct isotopic imprint. The common view is that the natural abundance of the stable isotopes of nitrogen (expressed as δ15N) is higher in animals than in plants that constitute our contemporary diets. Higher δ15N is thus increasingly viewed as a biomarker for meat and fish intake. Here we show that organic compared to conventional farming increases plant δ15N to an extent that can appreciably impact the performance of δ15N as a biomarker. The error that can arise when organic plants are consumed was modelled for the entire range of proportions of plant versus animal protein intake, and accounting for various intakes of organic and conventionally grown crops. This mass balance model allows the interpretation of differences in δ15N in light of organic food consumption. Our approach shows that the relationship between δ15N and meat and fish intake is highly contextual and susceptible to variation at the population, community or group level. We recommend that fertilization practices and organic plant consumption must not be overlooked when using δ15N as a biomarker for meat and fish intake or to assess compliance to nutritional interventions.

EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:animal and plant protein intake (en), nitrogen-15 isotopic abundance (en), organic food intake (en)
Subjects:"Organics" in general
Research affiliation: France > INRAe - Institut national de recherche pour l’agriculture, l’alimentation et l’environnement
ISSN:ISSN: 2072-6643
Project ID:HAL-INRAe
Deposited By: PENVERN, Servane
ID Code:40478
Deposited On:12 Aug 2021 10:37
Last Modified:12 Aug 2021 10:37
Document Language:English

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