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Composition differences between organic and conventional meat: a systematic literature review and meta-analysis

Composition differences between organic and conventional meat: a systematic literature review and meta-analysis
Composition differences between organic and conventional meat: a systematic literature review and meta-analysis
Demand for organic meat is partially driven by consumer perceptions that organic foods are more nutritious than non-organic foods. However, there have been no systematic reviews comparing specifically the nutrient content of organic and conventionally produced meat. In this study, we report results of a meta-analysis based on sixty-seven published studies comparing the composition of organic and non-organic meat products. For many nutritionally relevant compounds (e.g. minerals, antioxidants and most individual fatty acids (FA)), the evidence base was too weak for meaningful meta-analyses. However, significant differences in FA profiles were detected when data from all livestock species were pooled. Concentrations of SFA and MUFA were similar or slightly lower, respectively, in organic compared with conventional meat. Larger differences were detected for total PUFA and n-3 PUFA, which were an estimated 23 (95 % CI 11, 35) % and 47 (95 % CI 10, 84) % higher in organic meat, respectively. However, for these and many other composition parameters, for which meta-analyses found significant differences, heterogeneity was high, and this could be explained by differences between animal species/meat types. Evidence from controlled experimental studies indicates that the high grazing/forage-based diets prescribed under organic farming standards may be the main reason for differences in FA profiles. Further studies are required to enable meta-analyses for a wider range of parameters (e.g. antioxidant, vitamin and mineral concentrations) and to improve both precision and consistency of results for FA profiles for all species. Potential impacts of composition differences on human health are discussed.
organic foos, animal products, meat, iron, meat fat composition, n-3 pufa, n-6 pufa
0007-1145
994-1011
Średnicka-Tober, D.
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Barański, M.
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Seal, C.
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Sanderson, R.
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Benbrook, C.
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Steinshamn, H.
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Gromadzka-Ostrowska, J.
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Rembiałkowska, E.
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Skwarło-Sońta, K.
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Eyre, M.
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Cozzi, G.
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Krogh Larsen, M.
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Jordon, T.
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Niggli, U.
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Sakowski, T.
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Calder, P.
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Burdge, G.
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Sotiraki, S.
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Butler, G.
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Stewart, G.
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Średnicka-Tober, D.
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Barański, M.
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Seal, C.
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Sanderson, R.
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Benbrook, C.
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Steinshamn, H.
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Gromadzka-Ostrowska, J.
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Rembiałkowska, E.
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Skwarło-Sońta, K.
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Eyre, M.
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Cozzi, G.
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Krogh Larsen, M.
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Jordon, T.
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Niggli, U.
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Sakowski, T.
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Calder, P.
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Burdge, G.
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Sotiraki, S.
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Stefanakis, A.
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Yolcu, H.
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Stergiadis, S.
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Chatzidimitriou, E.
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Butler, G.
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Stewart, G.
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Leifert, C.
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Średnicka-Tober, D., Barański, M., Seal, C., Sanderson, R., Benbrook, C., Steinshamn, H., Gromadzka-Ostrowska, J., Rembiałkowska, E., Skwarło-Sońta, K., Eyre, M., Cozzi, G., Krogh Larsen, M., Jordon, T., Niggli, U., Sakowski, T., Calder, P., Burdge, G., Sotiraki, S., Stefanakis, A., Yolcu, H., Stergiadis, S., Chatzidimitriou, E., Butler, G., Stewart, G. and Leifert, C. (2016) Composition differences between organic and conventional meat: a systematic literature review and meta-analysis. British Journal of Nutrition, 115 (6), 994-1011. (doi:10.1017/S0007114515005073). (PMID:26878675)

Record type: Article

Abstract

Demand for organic meat is partially driven by consumer perceptions that organic foods are more nutritious than non-organic foods. However, there have been no systematic reviews comparing specifically the nutrient content of organic and conventionally produced meat. In this study, we report results of a meta-analysis based on sixty-seven published studies comparing the composition of organic and non-organic meat products. For many nutritionally relevant compounds (e.g. minerals, antioxidants and most individual fatty acids (FA)), the evidence base was too weak for meaningful meta-analyses. However, significant differences in FA profiles were detected when data from all livestock species were pooled. Concentrations of SFA and MUFA were similar or slightly lower, respectively, in organic compared with conventional meat. Larger differences were detected for total PUFA and n-3 PUFA, which were an estimated 23 (95 % CI 11, 35) % and 47 (95 % CI 10, 84) % higher in organic meat, respectively. However, for these and many other composition parameters, for which meta-analyses found significant differences, heterogeneity was high, and this could be explained by differences between animal species/meat types. Evidence from controlled experimental studies indicates that the high grazing/forage-based diets prescribed under organic farming standards may be the main reason for differences in FA profiles. Further studies are required to enable meta-analyses for a wider range of parameters (e.g. antioxidant, vitamin and mineral concentrations) and to improve both precision and consistency of results for FA profiles for all species. Potential impacts of composition differences on human health are discussed.

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Accepted/In Press date: 18 November 2015
e-pub ahead of print date: 16 February 2016
Published date: March 2016
Keywords: organic foos, animal products, meat, iron, meat fat composition, n-3 pufa, n-6 pufa
Organisations: Human Development & Health

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 388560
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/388560
ISSN: 0007-1145
PURE UUID: 70c7168f-c11d-41eb-ba4b-5507236b36fd
ORCID for P. Calder: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-6038-710X
ORCID for G. Burdge: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-7665-2967

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Date deposited: 29 Feb 2016 16:20
Last modified: 11 Mar 2021 02:35

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Contributors

Author: D. Średnicka-Tober
Author: M. Barański
Author: C. Seal
Author: R. Sanderson
Author: C. Benbrook
Author: H. Steinshamn
Author: J. Gromadzka-Ostrowska
Author: E. Rembiałkowska
Author: K. Skwarło-Sońta
Author: M. Eyre
Author: G. Cozzi
Author: M. Krogh Larsen
Author: T. Jordon
Author: U. Niggli
Author: T. Sakowski
Author: P. Calder ORCID iD
Author: G. Burdge ORCID iD
Author: S. Sotiraki
Author: A. Stefanakis
Author: H. Yolcu
Author: S. Stergiadis
Author: E. Chatzidimitriou
Author: G. Butler
Author: G. Stewart
Author: C. Leifert

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