Topic Editors

College of Food Science and Technology, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing, China
College of Food Science and Technology, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing 210095, China
Dr. Shuyang Qu
Department of Agricultural Education and Studies, Graduate Program in Sustainable Agriculture, Iowa State University, Ames, IA, USA
College of food science, South China Agriculture University, Guangzhou, China

Advances in Sustainable Agri-Food Systems: Insights into Production, Processing, and Consumption Perspectives

Abstract submission deadline
closed (3 May 2023)
Manuscript submission deadline
closed (3 March 2023)
Viewed by
36846

Topic Information

Dear Colleagues,

Nowadays, the way consumers choose to purchase and eat has put much stress on production (agroecology practices, genetic resources, climate change, etc.), processing (environmentally friendly, clean label, etc.), and consumption (marketing channels, consumption behavior, purchase patterns, food tourism, etc.) systems. The agri-food sustainability relies on efficient and clean production, stable and high-standard processing, and a well-understanding of consumers’ food purchase patterns and preferences. This multidisciplinary topic of Foods, with the theme of Food Sustainability, aims to publish research or review articles dealing with innovative and promising strategies to valorize agri-food sustainability for producing high-quality foods and providing specific insights for customers' behaviors, marketing perspectives and food policy.

The topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Agroecology and sustainable food systems
  • Producers’ practices for sustainable food production 
  • Novel technologies for agro-food processing
  • Rapid and accurate detections of food quality and safety 
  • Consumers’ choice behavior and preference for agri-food
  • Food consumption patterns
  • Food tourism

Dr. Weijie Lan
Prof. Dr. Leiqing Pan
Dr. Shuyang Qu
Dr. Shaozong Wu
Topic Editors

Participating Journals

Journal Name Impact Factor CiteScore Launched Year First Decision (median) APC
Agronomy
agronomy
3.7 6.2 2011 15.8 Days CHF 2600
Foods
foods
5.2 7.4 2012 13.1 Days CHF 2900
Forests
forests
2.9 4.4 2010 16.9 Days CHF 2600
Land
land
3.9 4.9 2012 14.8 Days CHF 2600
Sci
sci
- 4.5 2019 47.7 Days CHF 1200

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Published Papers (17 papers)

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17 pages, 1611 KiB  
Article
Tailored Informational Interventions for Reducing Surplus and Waste of Fruits and Vegetables in a Food Market: A Pilot Study
by Carolina Fredes, María Ignacia Pérez, Macarena Jimenez, Beatriz Reutter and Rodrigo Fernández-Verdejo
Foods 2023, 12(12), 2313; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12122313 - 8 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1363
Abstract
This pilot study explored the effectiveness of tailored informational interventions to reduce the surplus and waste of fruits and vegetables at the distribution level in Chile. Stalls from a fresh food market were randomized to intervention (n = 5 selling fruits, n [...] Read more.
This pilot study explored the effectiveness of tailored informational interventions to reduce the surplus and waste of fruits and vegetables at the distribution level in Chile. Stalls from a fresh food market were randomized to intervention (n = 5 selling fruits, n = 5 selling vegetables) or control (n = 4 selling fruits, n = 4 selling vegetables) groups. The causes of surplus and waste were estimated by questionnaires. Surplus, avoidable waste, and unavoidable waste were measured using direct quantification before and after the intervention, and were expressed relative to the initial stock. Before the intervention, the surplus was (median [25th–75th percentile]) 46.2% [33.3–51.2] for fruits and 51.5% [41.3–55.0] for vegetables; avoidable waste was 0.1% [0.0–0.8] for fruits and 1.8% [0.7–5.3] for vegetables; and unavoidable waste was 0.0% [0.0–1.0] for fruits and 0.0% [0.0–1.3] for vegetables. Planning and storage represented the main causes explaining surplus and waste. After the intervention, the intervention group decreased the surplus of fruits compared to the control group (−17.8% [−29.0–−11.0] vs. 5.8% [−0.6–7.8], respectively; p = 0.016), without other differences. In conclusion, tailored informational interventions based on the causes of surplus and waste may reduce the surplus of fruits in a fresh food market. Interventions might also include management strategies for the surplus to improve grocers’ business operations. Full article
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17 pages, 603 KiB  
Article
Current Practices and Opportunities for More Sustainable Public Food Procurement: A Qualitative Study among Danish Municipalities and Regions
by Anne Dahl Lassen, Anne Vibeke Thorsen and Ellen Trolle
Foods 2023, 12(10), 1975; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12101975 - 12 May 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1897
Abstract
Public food procurement has been emphasized as a powerful tool to promote a healthier and more sustainable food system, but there is still a long way to go to reach full potential. This study aimed to investigate practices and opportunities for sustainable and [...] Read more.
Public food procurement has been emphasized as a powerful tool to promote a healthier and more sustainable food system, but there is still a long way to go to reach full potential. This study aimed to investigate practices and opportunities for sustainable and healthy public food procurement. A qualitative cross-sectional study was performed among Danish municipalities and regions stratified and randomly selected to cover standard practice (n = 17). In addition, interviews were performed among selected best-practice municipalities (n = 5) providing examples of ambitious goals and well-defined processes for obtaining sustainable food procurement. Large differences were observed in the cross-sectional analysis in relation to policy support and goals for sustainable food procurement, including organic purchase. Generally, there was a great attentiveness to reduce food waste and many valued the use of local food, especially among rural municipalities, whereas experience with climate impact reduction and shifts towards more plant-based menus was still in an early implementation stage. Results suggest a possible synergy effect between the use of organic food and efforts to reduce food waste and climate impact and emphasize the importance of local government policies to promote healthy and sustainable food procurement. Enabling factors to move sustainable food procurement forward are discussed. Full article
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19 pages, 5589 KiB  
Article
Potential Land Reserves for Agriculture in Indonesia: Suitability and Legal Aspect Supporting Food Sufficiency
by Anny Mulyani, Budi Mulyanto, Baba Barus, Dyah Retno Panuju and Husnain
Land 2023, 12(5), 970; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12050970 - 26 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2005
Abstract
Information on land reserves is crucial and required to support agricultural development in relation to increased population pressure, food demand, and food security. This research aims to identify and evaluate idle abandoned land based on biophysical suitability, status of land concessions, and forest [...] Read more.
Information on land reserves is crucial and required to support agricultural development in relation to increased population pressure, food demand, and food security. This research aims to identify and evaluate idle abandoned land based on biophysical suitability, status of land concessions, and forest areas to determine potential land reserves for agricultural development to support food security in Indonesia. The results show that, at the national level, the area of suitable abandoned lands for agricultural extensification is 27.7 million ha, but most of these lands have concession permits and are located in forest areas, so 12.4 million ha are still available, with the largest area being in dry land. The identification of abandoned land by employing satellite imagery in 54 districts resulted in a smaller acreage compared to abandoned land being mapped formally at 1:250,000. After considering land ownership and forest status, both sources resulted in similar areas at a scale of 1:50,000 and 1:250,000, i.e., 6.1 million ha and 6.0 million ha, respectively. It seems that land ownership and forest status adjusted the total acreage of identified land reserves at different map scales. An area of around 7.4 million ha will be required to meet food demand in 2045 by assuming constant consumption per capita. We found about 1.7 million ha as potential land reserves, most of which are in conversion or production forests areas. Converting forests or utilizing drylands could be potential alternatives to deal with the lack of land for food production. Moreover, due to limited wetlands, the use of reserve land in that agroecological zone should be in accordance with its designation, comply with the priority principles, and be supported by government regulations and policies, so that food security can be maintained until 2045. Full article
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12 pages, 293 KiB  
Article
Antibiotic-Free Poultry Meat Consumption and Its Determinants
by Hosein Mohammadi, Sayed Saghaian and Flavio Boccia
Foods 2023, 12(9), 1776; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12091776 - 25 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1767
Abstract
In recent decades, meat consumption has increased globally due to increased incomes. A consequence of increased red meat consumption has been the rise in greenhouse gas emissions and nutrition-related diseases. Consumption of antibiotic-free (ABF) poultry meat is a viable healthy and sustainable substitute [...] Read more.
In recent decades, meat consumption has increased globally due to increased incomes. A consequence of increased red meat consumption has been the rise in greenhouse gas emissions and nutrition-related diseases. Consumption of antibiotic-free (ABF) poultry meat is a viable healthy and sustainable substitute that will cause less damage to humans and the environment in the long run. This study was undertaken due to the increasing importance of healthy food consumption to preventing nutrition-related diseases. The health food industry is still in its preliminary stages; for market development of organic broiler meat and movement toward sustainable production of ABF meat, the first necessary step is conducting empirical research on ABF poultry meat consumption and identifying factors that influence household consumption patterns of ABF poultry meat. Therefore, the objectives of this study were the investigation of factors affecting poultry meat consumption by consumers and ABF poultry meat preference. Comparing the results could reveal what percentage of consumers are able to buy healthier higher-priced antibiotic-free poultry meat. Data were collected from 360 completed questionnaires completed by households from the city of Mashhad, Iran via simple random sampling in 2021. To investigate the first objective, an ordered logit model was used. The results showed that age, the head of household’s education, awareness of the nutritional benefits of poultry meat, advertising, and family income were statistically significant determinants of poultry meat consumption. To investigate the second objective, since some consumers cannot buy ABF poultry meat due to the higher prices, we used a two-step Heckman model. The results showed that the awareness of the nutritional benefits of ABF poultry meat, the head of household’s education, monthly family income, and advertising had positive impacts, with prices having a negative impact on the amount of antibiotic-free poultry meat consumed by the households. Comparing the results of the two models revealed that only about 30% of consumers could buy ABF poultry meat, mainly due to the higher prices. This study recommends improving consumer awareness, targeted distribution of ABF poultry meat according to customers’ economic and demographic characteristics, affordable prices, and appropriate marketing tools for sustainable consumption of ABF poultry meat. Full article
18 pages, 324 KiB  
Article
Preharvest Treatments with Low-Risk Plant Protection Products Can Help Apple Growers Fulfill the Demands of Supermarket Chains Regarding Pesticide Residues and Marketing Apples under 0-Residue Brands
by Andrej Paušič, Mihaela Roškarič and Mario Lešnik
Agronomy 2023, 13(4), 1151; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13041151 - 18 Apr 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1418
Abstract
As a result of worried consumer pressure, European supermarket chains (ESC) have developed very strict rules about the number and concentration of pesticide active substance residues (AS) accepted in fruits. So-called fruit quality toxicological burden indicators were developed. If fruit suppliers do not [...] Read more.
As a result of worried consumer pressure, European supermarket chains (ESC) have developed very strict rules about the number and concentration of pesticide active substance residues (AS) accepted in fruits. So-called fruit quality toxicological burden indicators were developed. If fruit suppliers do not comply with ESC requirements, their fruit is often rejected. It is becoming increasingly difficult for apple producers to meet all the requirements of the ESC, so they need new residue reduction tools. One of the options to lower the concentrations of residue on apples is a preharvest application of low-risk preparations (LRP) based on potassium bicarbonate (KHCO3) = PBC, coconut di-ethanol amide ((CH3(CH2)nC(=O)N(CH2CH2OH)2) = DEA, hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) = HP, and a mixture of microbes (EM) that have the ability to dissolve or disintegrate the AS residue. Trials were carried out to test the concept mentioned above. The application of LRP during the last four weeks of preharvest significantly reduced the residue concentration of pesticide AS in apples. Reduction rates among 25 active substances ranged from 0 to 100%, depending on the combination of LRP and AS. HP had the highest capacity to accelerate AS degradation, PB was the second most efficient, and DEA and EM displayed a low residue disintegration ability. The application of the tested LRP can enable apple growers to produce fruits with significantly lower residue concentrations and allows them to comply more successfully with strict ESC rules based on the calculations of toxicological burden indicators. Full article
26 pages, 3906 KiB  
Article
Coffee Pulp Biomass Utilization on Coffee Production and Its Impact on Energy Saving, CO2 Emission Reduction, and Economic Value Added to Promote Green Lean Practice in Agriculture Production
by Devi Maulida Rahmah, Efri Mardawati, Roni Kastaman, Totok Pujianto and Rahmat Pramulya
Agronomy 2023, 13(3), 904; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13030904 - 18 Mar 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3227
Abstract
The global market’s sustainability demand for coffee as a result of environmental concerns has influenced coffee producers to practice green coffee production. The efforts to improve the environmental performance of coffee production should also consider the other sustainability aspects: energy and economics. Using [...] Read more.
The global market’s sustainability demand for coffee as a result of environmental concerns has influenced coffee producers to practice green coffee production. The efforts to improve the environmental performance of coffee production should also consider the other sustainability aspects: energy and economics. Using a green fertilizer from agricultural biomass can lower carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions since the cultivation process, which is directly impacted by fertilizer use, has been identified as an environmental damage hotspot for coffee production. This study aims to determine the impact of coffee pulp biomass utilization on coffee production in terms of energy savings, CO2 emission reduction, and economic value added. The methodologies used were environmental Life Cycle Assessment, energy requirement analysis, life cycle costing, and eco-efficiency analysis. The study findings showed that using coffee pulp biomass in coffee cultivation impacted the energy savings, environmental damage reduction, and increased economic value added. Applying coffee pulp biomass can potentially reduce 39–87% of cumulative energy demand, 49.69–72% of CO2 emissions, and 6–26% of the economic value-added increase. Moreover, coffee pulp utilization as a fertilizer is recommended to be applied broadly to promote sustainable coffee production according to its beneficial impact. This study provided that scientific information farmers need to apply green fertilizers in coffee production. Full article
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14 pages, 2976 KiB  
Article
Effects of Planting Practices on Soil Organic Carbon during Old Apple Orchards’ Reconstruction on the Loess Plateau
by Wenzheng Li, Jianen Gao, Yuanyuan Zhang, Rafiq Ahmad, Zhe Gao and Fanfan Zhou
Agronomy 2023, 13(3), 897; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13030897 - 17 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1554
Abstract
Changes in the soil organic matter are related to the land-use change of sustainable agricultural production. However, few studies have been reported on the effects of changes in planting practices on SOC during the reconstruction period of old apple orchards. In this study, [...] Read more.
Changes in the soil organic matter are related to the land-use change of sustainable agricultural production. However, few studies have been reported on the effects of changes in planting practices on SOC during the reconstruction period of old apple orchards. In this study, 4 treatments were applied during the reconstruction period of old apple orchards (more than 20 years old) on the Loess Plateau: thinning and replanted apple saplings (TR); all felled and planted corn (CR); all felled and planted millet (MT); all felled and planted potato (PT). It was found that: SOC was ranked as MT > PT > CR > TR, and decreased with soil depth, obeying the power function law; this first decreased and then increased, with the lowest ranking of the year being obtained in August in a year; MT was the most effective in increasing SOC, with an average annual growth rate of 0.54 g/(kg∙year). In this study, the complex relationship between rainfall, temperature, solar radiation, soil moisture content, and soil organic carbon was established. The results not only provide a reference for the reconstruction of old apple orchards, but also provide support for sustainable agricultural production in the fragile ecological zone of the Loess Plateau. Full article
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15 pages, 2396 KiB  
Article
Effects of Hevea brasiliensis Intercropping on the Volatiles of Pandanus amaryllifolius Leaves
by Ang Zhang, Zhiqing Lu, Huan Yu, Yaoyu Zhang, Xiaowei Qin, Xunzhi Ji, Shuzhen He, Ying Zong, Yiming Zhong and Lihua Li
Foods 2023, 12(4), 888; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12040888 - 19 Feb 2023
Viewed by 1386
Abstract
Pandanus amaryllifolius Roxb. is a special tropical spice crop resource with broad development prospects. It is widely cultivated under a Hevea brasiliensis (Willd. ex A. Juss.) Muell. Arg. canopy to improve the comprehensive benefits to Hevea brasiliensis plantations in Hainan Provence, China. However, [...] Read more.
Pandanus amaryllifolius Roxb. is a special tropical spice crop resource with broad development prospects. It is widely cultivated under a Hevea brasiliensis (Willd. ex A. Juss.) Muell. Arg. canopy to improve the comprehensive benefits to Hevea brasiliensis plantations in Hainan Provence, China. However, the effects of intercropping with Hevea brasiliensis on the component number and relative contents of volatile substances in different categories in the Pandanus amaryllifolius leaves are still unknown. Therefore, a Hevea brasiliensis and Pandanus amaryllifolius intercropping experiment was set up to clarify the differences between several cultivated patterns on volatile substances in the Pandanus amaryllifolius leaves, and the key regulatory factors of volatile substances. The results showed that the soil pH was significantly decreased, while soil bulk density, alkali-hydrolyzable nitrogen and available phosphorus contents were significantly increased under the intercropping pattern. The component numbers of esters in volatile substances were increased by 6.20%, while the component numbers of ketones were decreased by 4.26% under the intercropping pattern. Compared with the Pandanus amaryllifolius monoculture, the relative contents of pyrroles, esters and furanones were significantly increased by 8.83%, 2.30% and 8.27%, respectively, while the relative contents of ketones, furans and hydrocarbons were decreased by 1.01%, 10.55% and 9.16% under the intercropping pattern, respectively. The relative contents of pyrroles, esters, furanones, ketones, furans and hydrocarbons were associated with changes in soil pH, soil available phosphorus content and air temperature. The results indicated that the reduction in soil pH and enhancement in soil-available phosphorus may be the main reasons for promoting the relative content of pyrroles and reducing the relative content of hydrocarbons under an intercropping pattern. Overall, Hevea brasiliensis intercropping with Pandanus amaryllifolius could not only improve soil properties, but also significantly increase the relative contents of the main volatile substances in Pandanus amaryllifolius leaves, which could provide a theoretical basis for the application and promotion of high-quality production patterns of Pandanus amaryllifolius. Full article
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13 pages, 1203 KiB  
Article
Establishing Breeding Priorities for Developing Biofortified High-Yielding Pearl Millet (Pennisetum glaucum (L.) R. Br.) Varieties and Hybrids in Dosso Region of Niger
by Bassirou Sani Boubacar Gaoh, Prakash I Gangashetty, Riyazaddin Mohammed, Mahalingam Govindaraj, Daniel Kwadjo Dzidzienyo and Pangirayi Tongoona
Agronomy 2023, 13(1), 166; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13010166 - 4 Jan 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1610
Abstract
West Africa is the origin and epicenter of pearl millet genetic diversity. Niger is a standalone country that produces 3.5 million tons of pearl millet from an area of 6.7 million hectares, with productivity varying from 0.5 to 0.7 t/ha. Low grain yield [...] Read more.
West Africa is the origin and epicenter of pearl millet genetic diversity. Niger is a standalone country that produces 3.5 million tons of pearl millet from an area of 6.7 million hectares, with productivity varying from 0.5 to 0.7 t/ha. Low grain yield is a result of low soil fertility, drought, downy mildew, head miner, and the non-utilization of improved and quality seeds. Around 30 pearl millet varieties were released in Niger, but the adoption rate of improved varieties is still lagging. There has been no systematic mapping implemented for new varieties’ adoption preferences and the availability of quality seeds. Considering this and assessing the need for biofortified cultivars, the present participatory study was conducted in the Dosso region of Niger, wherein high rates of malnutrition persist. This study aimed (i) to identify breeding priorities for key traits of pearl millet preferred by farmers, with gender-based segregation, for varieties and hybrids, and (ii) to survey the preference for biofortified varieties with added nutritional value. Structured questionnaires and focus groups were used to collect data from 150 randomly selected respondents in 12 villages from three representative departments of Dogondoutchi, Dosso, and Gaya. The results reveal that pearl millet is a primary staple crop grown (98% of respondents) and consumed on a daily basis as food and also used as feed for their animals. The majority of farmers preferred a long panicle (50.7%) and a good seed set (45.3%). For grain traits, a white color (50%) and larger size (100%) were predominantly preferred, which fetches them higher prices in the market, where they compete with sorghum grains. All respondents unanimously rated growing biofortified pearl millet varieties as high (100%), owing to higher Fe and Zn, in addition to yield. Furthermore, 99.3% of farmers perform grain decortication before consumption, thus potentially depleting staple grain nutrition, which is expedient for pearl millet biofortification in the region. This study has the potential for establishing pearl millet breeding priorities that are likely to be employed for other West African pearl millet breeding programs. Full article
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22 pages, 19591 KiB  
Article
Integrated Physiological and Metabolomic Analyses Reveal the Differences in the Fruit Quality of the Blueberry Cultivated in Three Soilless Substrates
by Haiyan Yang, Yongkang Duan, Zhiwen Wei, Yaqiong Wu, Chunhong Zhang, Wenlong Wu, Lianfei Lyu and Weilin Li
Foods 2022, 11(24), 3965; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11243965 - 7 Dec 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1586
Abstract
With improving living standards, traditional blueberry planting modes cannot meet commercial demands, and blueberry cultivation with soilless substrate has become a popular solution in the blueberry industry. In this study, different soilless substrate treatments were found to markedly influence fruit appearance and intrinsic [...] Read more.
With improving living standards, traditional blueberry planting modes cannot meet commercial demands, and blueberry cultivation with soilless substrate has become a popular solution in the blueberry industry. In this study, different soilless substrate treatments were found to markedly influence fruit appearance and intrinsic quality. The fruit in the 50:50 peat/pine bark (v/v) (FPB) treatment group had the maximum single fruit weight, largest vertical diameter, and brightest color, as well as the highest 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) value, solid-acid ratio and anthocyanin content. The fruit in the 50:50 pine bark/rice husk (v/v) (FBR) treatment group had the highest total phenol and flavonoid levels, largest drip loss value, and lowest total pectin content and firmness value. Metabolomic analysis showed that flavonoid, carbohydrate, and carbohydrate conjugate, and amino acid, peptide, and analog levels were significantly different between groups. Fruit in the FPB group had the highest sucrose, D-fructose 1,6-bisphosphate, salidroside, tectorigenin, naringenin chalcone, trifolirhizin, and galangin contents. The increase in the relative expression of phenylalanine (Phe) promoted the synthesis of fruit polyphenols in the FBR group. Our results provide new insights into the effects of different substrates on the quality of blueberries and a reference for the soilless substrate cultivation of blueberries. Full article
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16 pages, 3132 KiB  
Article
Seasonal Characteristics of Agricultural Product Circulation Network: A Case Study in Beijing, China
by Yibo Zhao, Shifen Cheng and Feng Lu
Agronomy 2022, 12(11), 2827; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12112827 - 12 Nov 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1705
Abstract
Agricultural product circulation is an appropriate way to optimize the distribution of agricultural resources and maintain food safety. The seasonality of agriculture leads to seasonal variations in agricultural product circulation. Previous studies constructed origin–destination networks based on annual statistics to investigate the static [...] Read more.
Agricultural product circulation is an appropriate way to optimize the distribution of agricultural resources and maintain food safety. The seasonality of agriculture leads to seasonal variations in agricultural product circulation. Previous studies constructed origin–destination networks based on annual statistics to investigate the static structure of agricultural product circulation networks from a single view, failing to capture the seasonal and multi-dimensional characteristics in agricultural product circulation. This study presents a multi-view analytical framework used to investigate the seasonal characteristics of an agricultural product circulation network. First, agricultural product circulation networks in different seasons were constructed with mass freight trajectory data through trajectory mining technology. Then, the seasonal characteristics of agricultural product circulation were, respectively, analyzed from a macro-view (networks), meso-view (edges) and micro-view (nodes). A case study was conducted in Beijing, China. It is argued that: (1) The presented method for extracting agricultural trip chains based on massive freight trajectories is feasible for the construction of agricultural product circulation networks. (2) The agricultural product circulation networks in four seasons exhibit an obvious hierarchical and radial structure. South China has a higher network density in winter and spring, whereas northeast and northwest China are the opposite. (3) A total of 80% of the linkage strength is concentrated, on average, in 35.3% of city-pairs in four seasons, where the agglomeration effect and hub status of the linking cities is more prominent in summer and autumn. (4) A total of 316 cities form Beijing agricultural product circulation networks, 48.1% of which are mainly served by Beijing agricultural product circulation in winter and spring, which is 2.7 times more than cities served in summer and autumn. These findings extend the scientific understanding of the agricultural product supply chain from a dynamic and multi-dimensional view, which provides essential information for optimizing sustainable agri-food systems and ensuring food security. Full article
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20 pages, 323 KiB  
Article
Motivations and Challenges for Adoption of Organic Grain Production: A Qualitative Study of Iowa Organic Farmers
by Guang Han and Nancy Grudens-Schuck
Foods 2022, 11(21), 3512; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11213512 - 4 Nov 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2045
Abstract
Organic grains are essential for the organic food industry. In the U.S., low adoption of organic grain farming has constrained further development of the organic food sector. Organic food industry stakeholders have appealed to producers to increase domestic organic grain production. The U.S. [...] Read more.
Organic grains are essential for the organic food industry. In the U.S., low adoption of organic grain farming has constrained further development of the organic food sector. Organic food industry stakeholders have appealed to producers to increase domestic organic grain production. The U.S. federal government supports research and extension education regarding organic farming. In this context, there is a need for both agricultural researchers and extension professionals to further (1) examine the factors that motivate farmers to adopt organic grain farming and (2) identify the challenges that hinder farmers’ adoption of organic grain farming. We conducted 17 in-depth interviews with organic grain farmers in Iowa, USA. By applying multiple social-behavioral theories as part of the analysis and comparing interview results with the literature, we gained insight into the ways in which farmers formed adoption motivations, and we captured the dynamics of the motivations. We specifically identified challenges to adoption that were associated with organic farming operation and management, organic market accessibility, information and inputs availability, social tension, and level of support from the government. These findings shed light on the ways in which farmers’ adoption challenges have evolved with institutional, ecological, and technological changes over time and how contemporary research and extension may encourage adoption. Full article
19 pages, 5269 KiB  
Article
Effects of Different Deproteinization Methods on the Antioxidant Activity of Polysaccharides from Flos Sophorae Immaturus Obtained by Ultrasonic Microwave Synergistic Extraction
by Wenting Zhong, Chunmiao Yang, Yongze Zhang and Dongsheng Yang
Agronomy 2022, 12(11), 2740; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12112740 - 4 Nov 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1632
Abstract
Flos Sophorae Immaturus (FSI) serves as one of the Chinese medicinal herbs of homologous provenance, whose polysaccharides constitute part of the active compounds that exert their pharmacological properties. Single-factor and response surface methodology were employed to investigate optimal extraction conditions for the ultrasonic-microwave [...] Read more.
Flos Sophorae Immaturus (FSI) serves as one of the Chinese medicinal herbs of homologous provenance, whose polysaccharides constitute part of the active compounds that exert their pharmacological properties. Single-factor and response surface methodology were employed to investigate optimal extraction conditions for the ultrasonic-microwave synergistic extraction (UMSE) of polysaccharides from FSI (PFSI), which were deproteinized by Sevage, papain, and trichloroacetic acid methods, and the antioxidant potential of PFSI by contrasting deproteinization methods based on free-radical scavenging capacity. The optimum conditions for UMSE extraction of PFSI were 500 W microwave power, 265.887 W ultrasonic power, 20.078 min extraction time, and 94.995:1 liquid-to-material ratio. Meanwhile, the sequence of the single factors on the yield of polysaccharides indicated that microwave power > extraction time > D liquid to material ratio > B ultrasonic power, and that the obtained average value of polysaccharide yield was 37.05%, which was analogous to the predicted value of 37.17%, indicating that the optimization method was reasonable. In vitro, the antioxidant assay demonstrated that PFSI, with or without deproteinization, had a definite capability to scavenge oxidative free radicals. This research provides a theoretical basis for the industrial production of PFSI as a natural antioxidant, and a scientific basis for its industrial development. Full article
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19 pages, 871 KiB  
Article
Impacts of Extension Contact on the Adoption of Formulated Fertilizers and Farm Performance among Large-Scale Farms in Rural China
by Zengwei Xu, Jing Li and Jiliang Ma
Land 2022, 11(11), 1974; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11111974 - 4 Nov 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2577
Abstract
Growing concerns about the environmental costs of agricultural production have given new impetus to the promotion of sustainable agricultural production technologies that can reduce soil erosion and the excessive use of agricultural chemicals. Although numerous policies have been implemented to popularize soil testing [...] Read more.
Growing concerns about the environmental costs of agricultural production have given new impetus to the promotion of sustainable agricultural production technologies that can reduce soil erosion and the excessive use of agricultural chemicals. Although numerous policies have been implemented to popularize soil testing and formulated fertilization technologies in China, the diffusion of the technology among large-scale farmers (LSFs) has been addressed only rarely. We used a two-stage controlled function model to control for endogeneity and selection bias in contacting extension staff to assess the effect of an extension contact on technology adoption behavior by LSFs, Propensity Score Matching techniques are also utilized to analyze the effects of extension contact on the rice yields and nutrient use amount. Empirical results from Jiangsu and Jiangxi provinces show that extension contact plays a crucial role in promoting soil testing and the adoption of formulated fertilization technologies; LSFs’ adoption raises rice yields, however, the impact of extension contact on reducing nutrient use amount does not pass the significance test. The findings add to the theoretical literature on technology extension, and we used them to suggest policies to encourage tailored agricultural extension systems by constructing rural technological extension networks. Full article
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16 pages, 1485 KiB  
Article
Formulation of Protein-Rich Chocolate Chip Cookies Using Cricket (Acheta domesticus) Powder
by Ricardo S. Aleman, Jhunior Marcia, Shirin Kazemzadeh Pournaki, Isabel Borrás-Linares, Jesus Lozano-Sanchez and Ismael Montero Fernandez
Foods 2022, 11(20), 3275; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11203275 - 20 Oct 2022
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 4561
Abstract
In the Western world, the successful introduction of insect consumption may need awareness of insect ingredient benefits, and consumers’ anticipation of insect-based foods with sensory quality is crucial. The objective of this study was to develop protein-rich nutritional chocolate chip cookies (CCC) from [...] Read more.
In the Western world, the successful introduction of insect consumption may need awareness of insect ingredient benefits, and consumers’ anticipation of insect-based foods with sensory quality is crucial. The objective of this study was to develop protein-rich nutritional chocolate chip cookies (CCC) from cricket powder (CP) and analyze their physicochemical, liking, emotions, purchase intent, and sensory properties. The CP additions levels were 0%, 5%, 7.5%, and 10%. Chemical composition, physicochemical, and functional properties were analyzed using individual and mixed CP and wheat flour (WF). The proximate composition of CP mainly consisted of ash (3.9%), fat (13.4%), and protein (60.7%). In vitro protein digestibility of CP was 85.7%, whereas the essential amino acid score was 0.82. The CP inclusion significantly impacted the WF functional and rheological properties in all given incorporation levels in flour blends and doughs. The incorporation of CP produced darker and softer CCC, resulting from the effect of the CP protein. Adding 5% of CP did not impact the sensory attributes. Purchase intent and liking improved by using 5% of CP after panelists had revealed the beneficial information regarding CP. Concerning emotion terms, “happy” and “satisfied” significantly decreased while the negative emotion term “disgusted” increased among the highest CP substitute levels (7.5% and 10%) after beneficial information. Overall liking, flavor linking, education, consumption intent, gender, age, and positive emotion term “happy” were significantly assertive predictors affecting purchase intent. Full article
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12 pages, 2330 KiB  
Article
Antinutritional Nitrogen Compounds Content in Potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) Tubers Depending on the Genotype and Production System
by Elżbieta Wszelaczyńska, Jarosław Pobereżny, Anna J. Keutgen, Norbert Keutgen, Katarzyna Gościnna, Dorota Milczarek, Beata Tatarowska and Bogdan Flis
Agronomy 2022, 12(10), 2415; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12102415 - 5 Oct 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2665
Abstract
This experiment analyzed the effect of genetic determinants, the production technology, and the location on the nitrate and nitrites content in potato tubers directly after harvest. Nitrates and nitrites are anti-nutritional compounds, which limit or prevent the use of nutrients from consumed products [...] Read more.
This experiment analyzed the effect of genetic determinants, the production technology, and the location on the nitrate and nitrites content in potato tubers directly after harvest. Nitrates and nitrites are anti-nutritional compounds, which limit or prevent the use of nutrients from consumed products and have a detrimental effect on the human body. The study was conducted on seven tetraploid potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) clones (‘13-VIII-10’, ‘13-VIII-27’, ‘13-VIII-45’, ‘13-VIII-49’, ‘13-VIII-50’, ‘13-VIII-60’, ‘TG-97–403’), and three cultivars (‘Jelly’, ‘Satina’, and ‘Tajfun’) at four locations in Poland under either an integrated (Młochów, Boguchwała) or organic (Radzików, Chwałowice) production system. The results showed that the production system, location, and year significantly affected the nitrate and nitrites content in potatoes. Potato tubers originating from organic farming exhibited a lower content of the tested compounds (NO3—124.1 mg kg−1 FW; NO2—2.4 mg kg−1 FW) than that in the tubers obtained from an integrated production system (NO3—203.7 mg kg−1 FW, NO2—4.0 mg kg−1 FW). Under conditions of moderate stress as usual in the case of organic farming, the production of nitrates and nitrites are significantly lower than in the integrated production system. In our research potatoes from an integrated production system were characterised by a nitrate content at the limit of the established standard, i.e., 200 mg kg−1 FW. Tubers from the locality Chwałowice were characterised by the lowest nitrates and nitrites content, due to adequate environmental conditions, in addition to the best agricultural practice. The nitrates content depended to a greater extent on the environmental conditions than the potato on the genetic conditions. A higher content of nitrates and nitrites was found in the following potato clone 13-VIII-10 in Boguchwała from an integrated production system (NO3—269.2 mg kg−1 F; NO2—6.0 mg kg−1 FW), and in the ‘Tajfun’ cultivar (235.8; 5.8 mg kg−1 FW, respectively). Such a relationship was not found in integrated production in Młochów, which indicates the influence of the environment. Full article
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16 pages, 1295 KiB  
Article
Pyrolysis Temperature Affects Dissolved Phosphorus and Carbon Levels in Alkali-Enhanced Biochar and Its Soil Applications
by Meng Wang, Jim J. Wang, Jong-Hwan Park, Jian Wang, Xudong Wang, Zuoping Zhao, Fengmin Song and Bo Tang
Agronomy 2022, 12(8), 1923; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12081923 - 15 Aug 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1817
Abstract
Alkali-enhanced biochars, as an environment-friendly material, combine the advantages of biomass nutrients and carbon fixation. In this study, rice-residue-derived biochars were evaluated for P and C solubility and their amendment upon plant P uptake. Biochars from rice straw (RS) and husk (RH), including [...] Read more.
Alkali-enhanced biochars, as an environment-friendly material, combine the advantages of biomass nutrients and carbon fixation. In this study, rice-residue-derived biochars were evaluated for P and C solubility and their amendment upon plant P uptake. Biochars from rice straw (RS) and husk (RH), including raw biochar without alkaline pretreatment (0B), alkali-enhanced biochars with KOH (5KB, 5 g KOH per 100 g feedstock;10KB, 10 g KOH per 100 g feedstock), K2CO3 (5K2B, 5 g K2CO3 per 100 g feedstock; 10K2B, 10 g K2CO3 per 100 g feedstock), and CaO (5CB, 5 g CaO per 100 g feedstock; 10CB,10 g CaO per 100 g feedstock) were prepared at 350 °C~550 °C pyrolysis conditions. Alkali-enhanced biochars on soil water soluble P(WSP) and C(WSC) levels were assessed through a soil-biochar incubation experiment. The effect of alkali-enhanced biochar on rice P uptake was evaluated in a greenhouse pot study. The WSP content in KOH- and K2CO3-enhanced biochars produced at 550 °C was significantly increased by up to 144% compared with that produced by the corresponding biochars at 350 °C, while the WSC content in all alkali-enhanced biochars (except for RS-5CB) prepared at 550 °C significantly decreased by up to 6426% compared with that produced by the corresponding biochars at 350 °C. The application of 3% 10KB and 10K2B rice straw biochars (produced at 550 °C) significantly elevated the WSP content in soils. Rice grown in the RH-10K2B-550 treated soil significantly increased the grain P uptake by 15% and 8% compared with RH-0B-350 and RH-10K2B-350, respectively. The water soluble P of the KOH- and K2CO3-enhanced biochars increased with increasing the pyrolysis temperature. RS-10KB and RS-10K2B increased the soil WSP and WSC content compared with the unenhanced biochar (RS-0B), and showed a clear positive effect on increasing the rice P uptake. Overall, KOH- and K2CO3-enhanced biochars pyrolyzed at 550 °C as Si sources could also serve as a potential P pool with multi-functions in C sequestration and K nutrition. Full article
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