Editorial Board Members’ Collection Series: “Global Food Security and Sustainability”

A special issue of Foods (ISSN 2304-8158).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 10 July 2024 | Viewed by 26318

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Food Science and Technology, University of Peloponnese, 24100 Antikalamos, Greece
Interests: food technology; food engineering; food safety; food quality; extra virgin olive oil; mycotoxins; fermented foods
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
ERA Chair in Food Technology, Faculty of Agrobiology, Food and Natural Resources, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Prague, Czech Republic
Interests: waste utilisation; plant bioactives; cereal science; postharvest; novel technologies
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In 2009, the World Summit on Food Security, described the concept of stability/vulnerability as the short-term time indicator of the ability of food systems to withstand shocks, whether natural or man-made, as part of the Five Rome Principles for Sustainable Global Food Security. The Rome Declaration on World Food Security in 1996 defined three basic dimensions: availability, accessibility and utilization, with a focus on nutritional well-being.

Moreover, the importance of sustainable management of natural resources and the elimination of unsustainable patterns of food consumption and production should also stressed.

More recently, the importance of sustainability to preserve the environment, natural resources and agro-ecosystems (and thus the overlying social system), has been emphasized along with the importance of food security as part of sustainability and vice versa.

Some authors claim that sustainability should be considered as part of the long-term time dimension in the assessment of food security. Hence, the concept of sustainable diets could play a key role as a goal and a way to maintain nutritional well-being and health, while ensuring the sustainability for future food security.

Food insecurity in the future will  become a serious global problem, affecting biodiversity (im)balance and ecosystem wellbeing while limiting human existence. Primary food production and food security need to be boosted by improved environmental practices for mitigation of droughts, floods and deforestation along with improved technology for reducing fertilizers and pesticides use. Different strategies employed by multiple nations and European Union policymakers rely on the support of novel/smart agriculture, recycling of resources, and the development of initiatives covering the entire nexus of water–energy–food focusing on the introduction of good practices for sustainable use of natural resources and the realisation of food security. Identification of the interactions of water, energy and food as a single system in the assessment of human and natural environment conditions is one of these strategies. The food security problem could be alleviated by genetically modified food which will increase employment among farmers, and secure sustainable food security across the world. Moreover, the minimization and control of pathogen infections through horizontal gene transfer to avoid the disruption of crops and inclusion of new dynamic technologies to secure global food security is imperative.

We should also take into account the framework devised by Food and Agriculture Organization across developing countries to improve agriculture resource systems and to provide nutritious food to enable people to lead an active and healthy life. Improvements in natural resources management systems and agricultural industrialization could prove instrumental in achieving food security.

Prof. Dr. Theodoros Varzakas
Prof. Dr. Costas Stathopoulos
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Foods is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2900 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • food security
  • nutrition
  • sustainability
  • well-being
  • global food security and sustainability
  • genetically modified food
  • pathogen infections
  • safety
  • agriculture resource systems
  • water
  • energy and food

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

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11 pages, 859 KiB  
Article
Emissions Reduction Strategies for the Orange and Cherry Industries in New South Wales
by Aaron T. Simmons, Marja Simpson, Paul-Antoine Bontinck, John Golding, Tim Grant, Jess Fearnley and Steven Falivene
Foods 2023, 12(18), 3328; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12183328 - 5 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1123
Abstract
The orange and cherry industries in New South Wales, Australia, are major horticulture industries with a high export value. Climate change has resulted in the carbon footprint of products being used by consumers to guide purchases meaning that products with a relatively high [...] Read more.
The orange and cherry industries in New South Wales, Australia, are major horticulture industries with a high export value. Climate change has resulted in the carbon footprint of products being used by consumers to guide purchases meaning that products with a relatively high carbon footprint risk losing market access. The carbon footprint of cherry and orange production is unknown and there is no assessment of the success of climate change mitigation strategies to reduce the carbon footprint of their production and move production towards being carbon neutral. This study assesses the climate change mitigation potential of five management changes to on-farm cherry and orange production (revegetation, the use of nitrification inhibitors, renewable energy, green N fertilisers, and pyrolysis of orchard residues) over a 25-year period. for example, orchards in relevant growing regions. The results show that the carbon footprint of production can be reduced by 73 and 83% for cherries and oranges, respectively, when strategies that avoid emissions are included in their production. When strategies that sequester C from the atmosphere are also included, cherry and orange production becomes C negative in the first few years of the scenario. The economics of implementing these strategies are unfavourable, at present; however, our results indicate that the NSW cherry and orange industries can be confident in achieving emissions reductions in on-farm production to assure market access for their products. Full article
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26 pages, 3525 KiB  
Article
Case Studies of Small-Medium Food Enterprises around the World: Major Constraints and Benefits from the Implementation of Food Safety Management Systems
by Jocelyn C. Lee, Marina Neonaki, Athanasios Alexopoulos and Theodoros Varzakas
Foods 2023, 12(17), 3218; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12173218 - 26 Aug 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 5930
Abstract
Global food safety and security are key principles to be followed in the context of the implementation of food safety management systems. The objective of this paper is to assess the contemporary developments of Food Safety Management System standards (FSMS) worldwide and to [...] Read more.
Global food safety and security are key principles to be followed in the context of the implementation of food safety management systems. The objective of this paper is to assess the contemporary developments of Food Safety Management System standards (FSMS) worldwide and to identify the primary constraints and advantages associated with their implementation by small and medium-sized enterprises across different regions. The effectiveness of these systems has also been evaluated. 116 case studies have been employed across developing and developed regions worldwide across 27 primary food sectors. After the implementation of FSMS, there was a significant increase in the percentage of companies that have implemented the international FSMS, both in developed (16.7% to 63.9%) and developing countries (26.6% to 48.1%). Certification has also increased from 34.2% to 59.6% in the total sample, namely from 33.3% to 61.1% in developed countries and from 34.6% to 59.0% in developing countries. There was a significant increase in medium vs. small company size (57.1% to 62.3%, p = 0.046), only in developing countries. Food safety culture and manager leadership implementation were increased to over 80% after FSMS implementation in both developed and developing countries (p < 0.001). Training, resources, and technology adequacy were also increased in all companies (p < 0.001). Full article
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26 pages, 2561 KiB  
Article
Novel Plant-Protein (Quinoa) Derived Bioactive Peptides with Potential Anti-Hypercholesterolemic Activities: Identification, Characterization and Molecular Docking of Bioactive Peptides
by Feyisola Fisayo Ajayi, Priti Mudgil, Amie Jobe, Priya Antony, Ranjit Vijayan, Chee-Yuen Gan and Sajid Maqsood
Foods 2023, 12(6), 1327; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12061327 - 20 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2220
Abstract
Hypercholesterolemia remains a serious global public health concern. Previously, synthetic anti-hypercholesterolemic drugs were used for ameliorating this condition; however, long-term usage presented several side-effects. In this regard, natural products as an adjunct therapy has emerged in recent times. This study aimed to produce [...] Read more.
Hypercholesterolemia remains a serious global public health concern. Previously, synthetic anti-hypercholesterolemic drugs were used for ameliorating this condition; however, long-term usage presented several side-effects. In this regard, natural products as an adjunct therapy has emerged in recent times. This study aimed to produce novel bioactive peptides with anti-hypercholesterolemic activity (cholesterol esterase (CEase) and pancreatic lipase (PL)) from quinoa protein hydrolysates (QPHs) using three enzymatic hydrolysis methods (chymotrypsin, protease and bromelain) at 2-h hydrolysis intervals (2, 4, and 6 h). Chymotrypsin-generated hydrolysates showed higher CEase (IC50: 0.51 mg/mL at 2 h) and PL (IC50: 0.78 mg/mL at 6 h) inhibitory potential in comparison to other derived hydrolysates and intact quinoa proteins. Peptide profiling by LC-MS QTOF and in silico interaction with target enzymes showed that only four derived bioactive peptides from QPHs could bind in the active site of CEase, whereas twelve peptides could bind in the active site of PL. Peptides QHPHGLGALCAAPPST, HVQGHPALPGVPAHW, and ASNLDNPSPEGTVM were identified to be potential CEase inhibitors, and FSAGGLP, QHPHGLGALCAAPPST, KIVLDSDDPLFGGF, MFVPVPH, and HVQGHPALPGVPAHW were identified as potential PL inhibitors on the basis of the maximum number of reactive residues in these bioactive peptides. In conclusion, QPHs can be considered as an alternative therapy for the treatment of hypercholesterolemia. Full article
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14 pages, 656 KiB  
Article
Waste Orange Peels as a Feed Additive for the Enhancement of the Nutritional Value of Tenebrio molitor
by Konstantina Kotsou, Theodoros Chatzimitakos, Vassilis Athanasiadis, Eleni Bozinou, Christina Adamaki-Sotiraki, Christos I. Rumbos, Christos G. Athanassiou and Stavros I. Lalas
Foods 2023, 12(4), 783; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12040783 - 12 Feb 2023
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 3337
Abstract
Lately, additional attention is being placed on edible insects, since they constitute an excellent, cost-efficient source of proteins with a low ecological footprint. Tenebrio molitor was the first insect that was considered edible by EFSA in 2021. This species can replace conventional protein [...] Read more.
Lately, additional attention is being placed on edible insects, since they constitute an excellent, cost-efficient source of proteins with a low ecological footprint. Tenebrio molitor was the first insect that was considered edible by EFSA in 2021. This species can replace conventional protein sources and thus, it has the potential to be used in many different food products. In the present study, a food by-product that is commonly produced (i.e., albedo orange peel waste) was used as a feed additive for T. molitor larvae, in an effort to further improve the circular economy and enhance the nutritional value of the insects. To this end, bran, which is commonly used as feed for T. molitor larvae, was fortified with the albedo orange peel waste (up to 25% w/w). Larval performance, in terms of larval survival and growth, as well as the larval nutritional value, i.e., the content of protein, fat, carbohydrates, ash, carotenoids, vitamins A and C, and polyphenols, was evaluated. Based on the results, the increase in the percentage of orange peel albedos in T. molitor feed resulted in a subsequent increase in the content of larvae in carotenoids and vitamin A up to 198%, in vitamin C up to 46%, and an increase in the protein and ash content up to 32% and 26.5%, respectively. Therefore, the use of albedo orange peel waste for feeding of T. molitor larvae is highly recommended, since it results in larvae with enhanced nutritional value and at the same time, the utilization of this feeding substrate further lowers the cost of insect farming. Full article
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Review

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44 pages, 6758 KiB  
Review
A Holistic Approach for Ethics and Sustainability in the Food Chain: The Gateway to Oral and Systemic Health
by Theodoros Varzakas and Maria Antoniadou
Foods 2024, 13(8), 1224; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13081224 - 17 Apr 2024
Viewed by 1235
Abstract
Food production is a complex matter, affecting people’s lives, organizations’ profits, and the well-being of the whole planet, and has multifaceted ethical considerations surrounding its production, distribution, and consumption. This paper addresses the pressing need to confront ethical challenges within the food system, [...] Read more.
Food production is a complex matter, affecting people’s lives, organizations’ profits, and the well-being of the whole planet, and has multifaceted ethical considerations surrounding its production, distribution, and consumption. This paper addresses the pressing need to confront ethical challenges within the food system, encompassing issues such as environmental sustainability, food security, and individual food choices for better oral and systemic health of all individuals around the globe. From agricultural practices to global trade and food waste, ethical implications are addressed across various domains, highlighting the interconnectedness of ethical decision-making in the food industry. Central themes explored include the ethical dimensions of food production methods, the impact of global trade on food ethics, and the role of individuals in making ethically informed food choices. Additionally, this paper considers the spiritual and physical significance of food, particularly through the lens of oral health as a gateway to holistic well-being. Recognizing the complexity of the food and mouth ecosystem, this paper calls for serious interventions in legislation and economics to promote ethical protocols and techniques for sustainability reasons. It emphasizes the importance of ethical considerations in food safety management systems, regulatory frameworks, and quality standards. Moreover, this paper underlines the need for a comprehensive approach to address ethical dilemmas and moral values inherent in the food industry and oral health policies, adopting the precautionary principle and ethical decision-making frameworks. This article finally aims to serve as a call to action for stakeholders across the food industry and the healthcare sector, to prioritize ethical practices, promote transparency, rearrange economic parameters, and work towards a more sustainable and equitable food system for inner and outer oral and systemic health and human sustainability for all. Full article
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29 pages, 1504 KiB  
Review
Global Food Security and Sustainability Issues: The Road to 2030 from Nutrition and Sustainable Healthy Diets to Food Systems Change
by Theodoros Varzakas and Slim Smaoui
Foods 2024, 13(2), 306; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13020306 - 18 Jan 2024
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3754
Abstract
The accomplishment of food/nutrition security for all across sustainable food systems (SFS) is tied to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). SFS is connected to all SDGs via the traditional framework of social inclusion, economic development, environmental safety, inclusivity, and the development of sustainable [...] Read more.
The accomplishment of food/nutrition security for all across sustainable food systems (SFS) is tied to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). SFS is connected to all SDGs via the traditional framework of social inclusion, economic development, environmental safety, inclusivity, and the development of sustainable food systems. We suggest that, for the world to achieve sustainable development, a shift to SFS is necessary to guarantee food/nutrition security for all, while operating within planetary boundaries to protect ecosystems and adapt to and mitigate climate change. Therefore, there is a requirement for original approaches that implement systemic and more participatory methods to engage with a wider range of food system stakeholders. However, the lack of skills and tools regarding novel methodologies for food system transformation is a key obstacle to the deployment of such approaches in practice. In the first part of this review, a summary of some challenges that occur in the governance of food system transformation is given. Through a case study of plant-based proteins and their biological and chemical modification as diets shift towards alternative proteins, we demonstrate that resource-efficient food systems and food waste, through system transformation, are useful in understanding both (i) how food system transformation has ensued and (ii) how the required transformation is prohibited. Finally, we discuss the implications of food system transformation in terms of nutrition and sustainable healthy diets, which are needed to achieve changes in food safety systems in the future. The linkage of food and the environment is evident, focusing on nutrition and sustainable healthy diets. This cannot be accomplished without system change and research towards new foods and, more specifically, new proteins such as plant-based ones and their biological and chemical modification. Full article
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19 pages, 1088 KiB  
Review
Innovative Applications of Tenebrio molitor Larvae in Food Product Development: A Comprehensive Review
by Konstantina Kotsou, Theodoros Chatzimitakos, Vassilis Athanasiadis, Eleni Bozinou, Christos G. Athanassiou and Stavros I. Lalas
Foods 2023, 12(23), 4223; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12234223 - 22 Nov 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1912
Abstract
The utilization of alternative and sustainable food sources has garnered significant interest as a means to address the challenges of food security and environmental sustainability. Tenebrio molitor larvae, commonly known as mealworms, have emerged as a promising candidate in this context, as they [...] Read more.
The utilization of alternative and sustainable food sources has garnered significant interest as a means to address the challenges of food security and environmental sustainability. Tenebrio molitor larvae, commonly known as mealworms, have emerged as a promising candidate in this context, as they are a rich source of nutrients and can be reared with relatively low resource input. This review article presents an in-depth analysis of the diverse range of food products developed using T. molitor larvae and the distinctive properties they bestow on these products. The review encompasses an exploration of the nutritional composition of the larvae, emphasizing their rich protein content, balanced amino acid profile, fatty acids with health benefits, vitamins, and minerals. It delves into how these attributes have been harnessed to enhance the nutritional value of a variety of food items, ranging from protein-rich snacks and energy bars to pasta, bakery goods, etc. Each of these applications is discussed with regard to how T. molitor larvae contribute to the nutritional content and sensory characteristics of the final product. Furthermore, this review sheds light on the innovative techniques and processing methods employed to incorporate T. molitor larvae into different food matrices. It addresses challenges related to taste, texture, and appearance that have been encountered and the strategies devised to overcome related problems. Overall, this comprehensive review elucidates the diverse food products that have been developed utilizing T. molitor larvae as a key ingredient. Highlighting the nutritional, sensory, and sustainability aspects of these products, this review offers valuable insights to harness the potential of this alternative protein source to meet the evolving needs of modern food systems. Full article
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19 pages, 985 KiB  
Review
Green Solvents: Emerging Alternatives for Carotenoid Extraction from Fruit and Vegetable By-Products
by Adriana Viñas-Ospino, Daniel López-Malo, María José Esteve, Ana Frígola and Jesús Blesa
Foods 2023, 12(4), 863; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12040863 - 17 Feb 2023
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 3622
Abstract
Carotenoids have important implications for human health and the food industry due to their antioxidant and functional properties. Their extraction is a crucial step for being able to concentrate them and potentially include them in food products. Traditionally, the extraction of carotenoids is [...] Read more.
Carotenoids have important implications for human health and the food industry due to their antioxidant and functional properties. Their extraction is a crucial step for being able to concentrate them and potentially include them in food products. Traditionally, the extraction of carotenoids is performed using organic solvents that have toxicological effects. Developing greener solvents and techniques for extracting high-value compounds is one of the principles of green chemistry and a challenge for the food industry. This review will analyze the use of green solvents, namely, vegetable oils, supercritical fluids, deep eutectic solvents, ionic liquids, and limonene, combined with nonconventional techniques (ultrasound-assisted extraction and microwave), for carotenoid extraction from fruit and vegetable by-products as upcoming alternatives to organic solvents. Recent developments in the isolation of carotenoids from green solvents and their inclusion in food products will also be discussed. The use of green solvents offers significant advantages in extracting carotenoids, both by decreasing the downstream process of solvent elimination, and the fact that the carotenoids can be included directly in food products without posing a risk to human health. Full article
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Other

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19 pages, 765 KiB  
Systematic Review
Discovering and Mapping Colloquial Terminologies Describing Underutilized and Neglected Food Crops—A Comprehensive Review
by Szymon Wojciech Lara, Amalia Tsiami and Peter Cross
Foods 2023, 12(12), 2428; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12122428 - 20 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1686
Abstract
Global levels of biodiversity and dietary diversity are decreasing, leading to food and nutrition insecurity. This is partially due to the homogenization of the global food supply with commodity crops. The reintroduction or introduction of neglected and underutilized species, minor, forgotten, and indigenous [...] Read more.
Global levels of biodiversity and dietary diversity are decreasing, leading to food and nutrition insecurity. This is partially due to the homogenization of the global food supply with commodity crops. The reintroduction or introduction of neglected and underutilized species, minor, forgotten, and indigenous crops and landrace varieties to the wider food systems and further diversification have been outlined as the future strategies for tackling the above by the United Nations and the Food and Agriculture Organization in their policy frameworks. Most of the above species/crops are marginalized and only used across local food systems and in research. With over 15,000 different seed banks and repositories worldwide, information transparency and communication are crucial for database searching and their effective utilization. Much confusion persists around the true nature of those plants, and this prohibits the efficient utilization of their economic potential. A linguistic corpus search and a systematic literature review were conducted using the six most popular collocates to the above terms, which were as follows: ancient, heirloom, heritage, traditional, orphan, and the more distinct term ‘landrace’. The results were interpreted using the Critical Discourse Analysis method. The definitions’ findings show that heirloom, heritage, and ancient are mainly used in the United Kingdom and USA, where they are used to describe ‘naturalized’ and ‘indigenized’ or ‘indigenous’ food crops with a strong affiliation to ‘family’ and the ‘act of passing seeds down from generation to generation’. Orphan crops, on the other hand, are often described as being ‘overlooked’ by growers and ‘underfunded’ by researchers. Landrace is most strongly affiliated with ‘locality’, ‘biocultural diversity’, and ‘indigenous’, and with genomics literature, where the characteristics are often discussed in the context of genetics and population biology. Contextualizing, most of the terms were found to be ‘arbitrary’ and ‘undefinable’ due to their continuing evolution in the socially accepted form of language, perhaps apart from landrace. The review has retrieved 58 definitions for the mentioned 6 terms, together with the primary key terms creating a tool to facilitate a better inter-sector communication and aid in policy. Full article
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