The influence of organic production on food quality – research findings, gaps and future challenges



Although several meta-analysis studies have been published comparing the quality of food derived from organic and non-organic origin, it is still not clear if food from organic production per se can guarantee product-related added value to consumers. This paper aims to summarize the status quo in order to identify research gaps and suggest future research challenges. Organic food is described according to a quality model already published. The influence of organic production on food quality is structured in primary production and processing. Furthermore, organic food authentication is discussed. Organic food seems to contain fewer pesticide residues and statistically more selected health-related compounds such as polyphenols in plant products and polyunsaturated fatty acids in milk and meat products, but the health relevance for consumers is not clear yet. Comparing food from organic origin with so called ‘conventional’ food seems not to be appropriate, because ‘conventional’ is not defined. In organic food quality research a system approach is needed from which systemic markers can be selected. Research on the impact of processing technologies on the quality according to organic principles seems of high relevance, since most of the food is processed. © 2014 Society of Chemical Industry