Book of Abstracts
11th IFOAM Scientific Conference
11-15 August 1996, Copenhagen, Denmark
Ludwig Boltzmann Institute f. Biological Agriculture & Applied Ecology, A-1110 Vienna
The definition of food quality has undergone considerable changes during the last 20 years. Yield, appearance and chemical composition are traditional and necessary quality parameters but they cannot define quality criteria and developing adequate methods. At the Ludwig Botlzmann Institute for Biological Agriculture food preference tests with laboratory rats in connection with other methods are carried out to assess quality differences between biologically and conventionally cultivated products. Food preference tests and self decomposition tests with beetroot and wheat, originating from the DOC trial (dynamic/organic/conventional) in Oberwil, Switzerland, were conducted. In a number of cases, differences between the variants were found.
In a further study, biologically and conventionally produced apples from Austria (var. Golden Delicious) were compared by means of food preference test, self decomposition test, degustation, circular chromatography, vitamin C content and P-value. Except for the P-value, other examinations proved a better quality for the biologically grown apples.
The latest investigation was based on a cooperation with the Groupe de Recherches en Agriculture Biologique in Avignon, France, dealing with differently cultivated carrots (6 binomials). The products originated from two different regions in France (Avignon/Agen). Analytical as well as holistical methods were used (see Minnaar, C.; Walz, V.). Concerning the food preference tests, twice the »biological« carrots were preferred, twice the »conventional« ones and in two cases the animals made no difference. The decomposition tests showed varying post harvest behaviour.
The intricate concept of »quality« requires dynamic and comprehensive investigations, combining all sorts of techniques. Thus, interdisciplinary research conveys the advantage of obtaining results from different angles, always keeping in mind that isolated methods can only highlight partial aspects.