Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Organic is healthier: Kiwis prove that green is good. Also: Grapefruit lowers risk of heart disease

26.03.2007
In one of the most comprehensive and definitive studies of its kind to date, a team of researchers at the University of California, Davis have proven that organically grown kiwifruit contain more health-promoting factors than those grown under conventional conditions.

The research is reported in the SCI’s magazine Chemistry & Industry. The debate over the relative health benefits of organic versus conventional food has raged for years, with UK environment secretary David Miliband declaring in January that buying organic is just a lifestyle choice.

The Davis scientists, led by Drs. Maria Amodio and Adel Kader, showed that organically grown kiwifruit had significantly increased levels of polyphenols, the healthy compounds found in red wine and coloured berries. They also had a higher overall antioxidant activity, as well as higher levels of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and important minerals compared with their conventionally grown counterparts (Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture DOI 10.1002/jsfa.2820). Their work differed to previously inconclusive studies, as they were able to compare like-for-like with kiwis grown next to each other on the same farm at the same time, in the same environmental conditions. Kader added: “[previous] studies did not include phenolic compounds in the comparison.”

The two categories of kiwifruit showed other differences which Kadel believes are most likely due to the fruits having to be able to survive against pests in the absence of pesticides. For example, organic kiwis had thicker skins, which could help the fruits resist insects, and higher antioxidant activity which is thought to be a natural by-product of stress.

However, some people are still unsure about the potential benefits of antioxidants and other compounds elevated in organic farm produce. Carl Winter, director of the FoodSafe Program at UC Davies, asks whether these increases in nutrients and antioxidants are of any appreciable health perspective. He is also concerned about any unknown negative effects on the health. “The authors also did not look for any plant secondary metabolites of potential toxicological impact.”

According to the Soil Association, organic food sales in the UK increased by 30% to £1.6bn in 2006. The world market for certified organic foods was estimated to be worth US $23-25 billion in 2003 and is growing approximately 19% every year, making these products the fastest-growing sector of the global food industry.

Also of interest in C&I issue 6 2007:

Grapefruit diet has hearty perks

Compounds in grapefruit and oranges have been shown to lower cholesterol levels in the blood. Two flavanones, hesperidin and naringin, were extracted from citrus fruits and fed to rats split into groups with some receiving high levels of cholesterol in their diet. Shela Gorinstein of The Hebrew University in Jerusalem found that after 30 days cholesterol levels in rats' blood reduced by around 20-25% in those fed a cholesterol-rich diet (Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture DOI: 10.1002/jsfa.2834).

David Bender, Sub-dean at the Royal Free and University College Medical School, London, believes that the results show a significant reduction in the increase in plasma lipids caused by cholesterol feeding. "This is potentially beneficial to health with regards to heart disease", he added.

Casey Gauthier reports on this story in Chemistry & Industry.

Lisa Richards | alfa
Further information:
http://www.soci.org
http://www.chemind.org

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Six-legged livestock -- sustainable food production
11.05.2017 | Faculty of Science - University of Copenhagen

nachricht Elephant Herpes: Super-Shedders Endanger Young Animals
04.05.2017 | Universität Zürich

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

Im Focus: Using graphene to create quantum bits

In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.

In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...

Im Focus: Bacteria harness the lotus effect to protect themselves

Biofilms: Researchers find the causes of water-repelling properties

Dental plaque and the viscous brown slime in drainpipes are two familiar examples of bacterial biofilms. Removing such bacterial depositions from surfaces is...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

Innovation 4.0: Shaping a humane fourth industrial revolution

17.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Scientists propose synestia, a new type of planetary object

23.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Zap! Graphene is bad news for bacteria

23.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Medical gamma-ray camera is now palm-sized

23.05.2017 | Medical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>