State of Science :: TOC Funded Programs
Organic Center Funded Research Projects
2006 Funded Projects
A team of scientists led by Dr. Neal Davies, School of Pharmacology at Washington State University, is carrying out a two-year project entitled "Nutritional and Biological Properties of Organic Food." The focus is on the nutritional content of organic and conventional foods, and whether higher levels of nutrients and antioxidants in organic food trigger significant biological responses in cell assay and experimental animal model systems.
Critical Issue Reports Under Development in 2006
Need for and Applications of The Organic Center "Food Quality Index"
Reducing Pesticide Dietary Exposures: A Synopsis fo Four Presentations Made at the 2006 Annual Meeting of the AAAS
Possible Impacts of Organic Food on Satiety, Obesity, and Diabetes
The Health of Dairy Cows: What It is and How to Measure It
Key Dimensions of Milk Quality and How to Measure Them
Impacts on the Dairy Sector If/When Organic Milk Reaches 10% of Fluid Milk Sales
A Methodology to Efficiently Assess Soil Quality and Track Changes During and After Conversion to Organic Production Methods
Impact of Long-Term Organic Management on Soil Erodibility
Opportunities to Improve the Efficiency of Nitrogen Use through Organic Farming
2004-2005 Funded Projects
A Washington State University team led by Dr. John Reganold and Dr. Preston Andrews, studied the nutritional quality of strawberries. Several matched pairs of fields growing organic and conventional strawberries in the Watsonville area of California were included in the study. Detailed soil quality measurements have been taken, and multiple pickings of berries have been completed in the 2004 and 2005 production season. Detailed taste and sensory quality evaluations have been completed, along with assessment of the antioxidant and nutritional content and quality of the harvested berries. In addition, a number of fruit quality parameters are being studied including firmness, weight loss and fruit rot (shelf life), acidity, soluble solids, and mineral nutrients. A research report will be submitted for publication in 2006.
A Tufts University team led by Dr. Kathleen Merrigan and Dr. Jeffrey Blumberg, is developing a "white paper" on methodologies for the comparative testing of antioxidants in organic and conventional foods. Antioxidant levels in cranberries, blueberries, tomatoes, and milk produced on otherwise similar organic and conventional farms are being analyzed.
A team based at the World Vegetable Center team (AVRDC) in Taiwan, Republic of China, is studying the impact of organic production systems on the nutritional quality and lycopene content of fresh market tomatoes. Quality parameters being analyzed include total phenolics and antioxidant activity, lycopene, Vitamin C, acidity, soluble solids, and pH. The study is exploring the roles of crop genetics, soil fertility management, pest management systems, and cultural practices on lycopene and total antioxidant capacity. A small pilot project will assess the impact of tomato fruit size on lycopene content.