November 2006 No. 4

QLIF congress 2007

Improving sustainability in organic and low input food production systems

Training & exchange

Measuring food quality: concepts, methods and challenges

QLIF congress 2006

Papers and presentations at the Joint Organic Congress

QLIF research

Featured articles & new publications

· Consumption

· Production methods

· Crop production
· Livestock production
· Processing strategies

News & notes

Correspondence on research and mediation


QLIF research

New publications on organic production methods

Effect of dairy management on quality characteristics of milk

The feeding regime from 25 farms from Denmark, 20 farms from Sweden and 25 farms from United Kingdom was registered and milk samples were collected and analysed for the content of antioxidants and fatty acid composition. The data overall indicated differences between the milk composition as a consequence of the feeding composition in different systems and countries. View paper

Prepared by Tina Slots, Carlo Leifert, Gillian Butler, Troels Kristensen and Jacob Holm Nielsen for the Joint Organic Congress, Odense, Denmark, May 30-31, 2006.

Effect of organic and conventional crop production systems on food quality and safety

This paper reviews information on nutritional differences between organic and non-organic crops. It also describes the Nafferton Factorial Systems Experiment to study the effect and interactions between (a) rotational design, (b) fertility management and (c) crop protection regimes on crop quality and safety. View paper

Prepared by Christoph S Schmidt, Lorna Lueck, Peter Shotton, Chris J Seal, Kirsten Brandt and Carlo Leifert for the Joint Organic Congress, Odense, Denmark, May 30-31, 2006.

Animal dietary intervention study of effect of organic vs conventional food production methods on health and wellbeing of rats

A dietary intervention study on rats will be conducted at Warsaw Agricultural University. The rat feed will consist of wheat, potatoes, carrots and onions produced organically vs. low input vs. conventionally. The main research hypothesis claims that rats consuming different diets would perhaps show different feed uptake, behavior pattern and health parameters. View paper

Prepared by Ewa Rembiałkowska for the Joint Organic Congress, Odense, Denmark, May 30-31, 2006.

Organic food quality - axioms and ambiguities

Organically produced foods are widely believed to better controlled and produced in more environmentally friendly systems. Thus, studies conducted during last decades indicate several positive aspects of the organic food quality but also few negative aspects and some uncertainties. View paper

Prepared by Ewa Rembiałkowska for the Joint Organic Congress, Odense, Denmark, May 30-31, 2006.

Which aspects of health are likely to be affected by our choice of food quality, such as organic food, and how can we investigate this question?

Methods used for production of food make a difference for food composition or other aspects of its quality. Some of these differences may be large enough to make a real difference for the consumer in terms of health. However, many of the production methods that benefit food quality are not necessarily restricted to either organic or conventional systems. Understanding the links between production methods and food quality therefore allows improvement of the products of any system, whether organic or conventional. View paper

Kirsten Brandt and Carlo Leifert (2005). Paper presented at Ekologiskt lantbruk konferens, "Att navigera i en ny tid" (Organic Farming Conference, "Navigating in a new era", SLU, Ultuna, Sweden, 22-23 november 2005).

Agronomy as a manipulative tool

If a farmer wants to maximise the concentration of a bioactive compound in the crop it is important to reduce the fertilisation intensity, in particular to avoid periods with high excess of nutrients such as N. Other ways of manipulating the balance is by partial drying and other methods that impose controlled levels and types of stress on the plants. This implies that existing defined types of agronomic practice, such as those used in organic farming, will have consistent and predictable consequences for concentrations of bioactive compounds in the crop (when the variation due to genotype and climate is taken into consideration). To predict the effect of novel practices or new technologies, the most important consideration is therefore how they will affect the resources available to the plant. View paper

Kirsten Brandt (2005). Presentation at COST 926 Conference; EUROPEAN WORKSHOP on Improving the health value of plant foods - phytochemical optimisation, Egmond aan Zee, The Netherland, 12 - 13 October 2005.

Effect of pig management to the risk of pathogen shedding

This paper evaluates the association between herd level risk factors for introduction and transmission of Salmonella in farms with three different production systems: organic, outdoor (non-organic) and indoor finishing-pig farms, and the presence of seropositive animals in the herds. Potential risk factors for Salmonella in the three pig production systems were identified through a literature review, and management information as well as serological data were collected in 34 pig farms: 11 organic farms, 12 outdoor farms, and 11 indoor farms. There were no general differences in the proportion of Salmonella seropositive animals in the organic, outdoor, and indoor pig farms. Correspondence analysis showed that the occurrence of seropositive animals in the herds was mostly associated to the risk of introducing Salmonella in the herds by purchasing and transporting growing pigs. No associations between herd risk factors for transmission and survival of Salmonella and seropositive animals in the herds were found. Download paper (PDF)

D.M. Zhenga, M. Bonde, and J.T. Sørensen (2005). Associations between the proportion of Salmonella seropositive slaughter pigs and the presence of herd level risk factors for introduction and transmission of Salmonella in 34 Danish organic, outdoor (non-organic) and indoor finishing-pig farms.

Further information

The publications mentioned at this page derive from subproject 2: Quantifying the effect of organic and “low input” production methods on food quality and safety and human health.

· More about research in subproject 2
· All publications from subproject 2