In recent years, the increase in the production and consumption of organic food has increased due to concerns about the adverse effects caused by the use of some compounds used in the conventional system. Furthermore, the ecological system is more sustainable, with the use of fertilizers, pesticides, hormones and antibiotics being more limited compared to the conventional system.
Various studies have shown that organic foods have a higher content of bioactive compounds than those grown in a conventional way because they are subjected to greater environmental stress due to the lack of artificial nutrients, developing natural defense mechanisms that lead to the production of more bioactive compounds.
Using the metabolomics technique, we evaluated the difference in the polyphenol content between organic and conventional foods, using the HPLC-QToF system followed by the analysis of multivariate data.
We have studied the differences between tomatoes grown organically and conventionally. The results obtained indicate that organically produced tomatoes show a higher content of phytochemicals than conventionally produced tomatoes. Currently, the group is conducting studies with other typical products such as wine and oil.
A pilot study has been carried out with the objective of evaluating how affects an organic diet in the short term respect to a conventional one. Future epidemiological and intervention studies will be carried out to verify if the vegetables and fruits grown in organic agriculture are really more beneficial for health than those produced conventionally.