Evaluation of the micronutrient composition of plant foods produced by organic and conventional agricultural methods

Duncan Hunter, Meika Foster, Jennifer O. Mcarthur, Rachel Ojha, Peter Petocz, Samir Samman*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    73 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The aim of the present analysis was to evaluate the micronutrient content of plant foods produced by organic and onventional agricultural methods. Studies were identified from a search of electronic databases (1980-2007, inclusive) as ell as manual searches. A total of 66 studies (describing 1440 micronutrient comparisons) were identified. Thirty-three tudies (908 comparisons) satisfied the screening criteria which considered cultivar, harvesting, and soil conditions. In tudies that satisfied the screening criteria, the absolute levels of micronutrients were higher in organic foods more often han in conventional foods (462 vs 364 comparisons, P = 0.002), and the total micronutrient content, expressed as a percent ifference, was higher in organic (+ 5.7%, P < 0.001) as compared to conventionally grown produce. The micronutrient ontent of food groups was more frequently reported to be higher for organic vegetables and legumes compared to their onventional counterparts (vegetables, 267 vs 197, P < 0.001; legumes, 79 vs 46, P = 0.004). This trend was supported y a mean percent difference in micronutrient content favoring organic vegetables (+ 5.9%, P < 0.001) and legumes (+5.7%, P < 0.001). Further research is required to determine the effect of organic agricultural methods on a broader range f nutrients and their potential impact on health.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)571-582
    Number of pages12
    JournalCritical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition
    Volume51
    Issue number6
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011

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