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FOOD SAFETY OF THE SHORT SUPPLY CHAIN - Favv

FOOD SAFETY OF THE SHORT SUPPLY CHAIN - Favv

e able to discriminate

e able to discriminate relevant from non‐relevant traits and to critically analyze what are the real consequences on food safety and on food quality. Also, knowing what is good or less good, it may be very useful to adapt our behavior and habits in order to extract the best from each situation and avoid the worst cases. Finally, it also worth considering that health is not only determined by negative or positive determinants such as contaminants and micro‐nutrients but also by the way of living including the well‐being and physical activity, for instance. HARMFUL AND BENEFICIAL CHEMICALS THROUGHOUT THE FOOD CHAIN Local food and feed are produced in the local production environment. In some cases, the quality of the local environment can be bad for several reasons including the quality of soil, air and water used for crop production or animal rearing. Hence, Heavy Metals (HMs) and Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) can accumulate in the food chain. A well‐known example is cadmium in vegetables and some animal products (kidneys from bovines) near non‐ferrous metal production sites in the Campine region (Vromman et al., 2008; Waegeneers et al., 2009). On the contrary, the local environment (soils) in Western Europe can be relatively poor in some useful nutrients such as selenium so that the exclusive intake of local food could be somewhat low compared to recommended dietary allowance values (SHC, 2009). The bad environmental quality of water and sediments from local rivers can lead to contamination of wild fish such as eels (Belpaire and Goemans, 2007). The contamination of some animal products by environmental contaminants can also be influenced by the mode of production as it can be seen from the contamination of eggs when the hens are reared in free range systems (Sci Com advice 2002/35). Agricultural inputs will be used in a different way according to the mode of production. Organic crops will contain less synthetic pesticides residues and sometimes also less nitrates (Pussemier et al., 2006). Food processing and cooking will, on the other hand, contribute to pesticide residues dissipation, hence reducing the human intake of those chemicals (Claeys et al., 2011). The crop production management associated to bad weather conditions can in turn lead to other kinds of contaminations. Hence, at harvest, cereals can be contaminated by several Fusarium toxins, especially under non plough conditions, in some crop rotation favoring cereals, and when rainy conditions occur during and after the flowering of wheat, for example. Non effective sorting of apples in order to discard the rotten fruits is also a very dangerous practice leading to the production of apple juice contaminated by patulin (Baert et al., 2006; Gillard et al., 2009). A bad management of crop production may also result in the presence of undesirable weeds rich in toxic compounds that will indirectly or accidently contaminate the crop, and so the food or feed to be produced with such raw materials. A last example is the greening of potatoes (and their 46

subsequent contamination by solanine) when the tubers are not thoroughly covered by a soil layer during the growing of the crop. When the harvest is done, there are still some other occasions that can lead to further alterations of the chemical composition. First of all, the longer the fresh produce will be stored or processed the higher will be the depletion or losses of vitamins and other useful micro‐nutrients. On the other hand some other contaminants can appear during storage, processing and cooking. One can mention ochratoxin A (bad storage conditions), additives (to extend the preservation), chemical contaminants such as benzene and acrylamide (process contaminants) (Sci Com, 2010; Sci Com, 2008). Last but not least, the packaging of food ingredients and foodstuffs as well as other materials which can come in contact with food (kitchen utensils) can further lead to contamination. Special care must be taken with the short chains because the probability that non‐food grade materials will be used is higher here. For example, recycled paper or cardboard may pose problems as well as the use of handicraft‐ made recipients (ceramics, for example). IN WHICH WAY DO LOCAL FOOD AND SHORT SUPPLY CHAINS INFLUENCE THE CONTAMINATION RISKS BY CHEMICAL CONTAMINANTS? The impact of local food on the occurrence of specific harmful effects has been illustrated in some limited cases. The problems linked to the presence of POPs (dioxins, PCBs, etc.) are well documented for eggs (free range hens belonging to private owners; Goeyens et al., 2008), wild fish (especially eels; Belpaire and Goemans, 2007), heavy metals (especially cadmium in vegetables and in kidneys of bovines; Vromman et al, 2008, Waegeneers et al., 2009). As far as mycotoxins are concerned, the case of patulin in apple juice (handicraft‐made and organic) is well documented (Baert et al., 2006; Gillard, 2009). As to the cereal mycotoxins (Fusarium toxins), it seems that the picture is much more complex and that the situation can vary dramatically from one year to another and from one location to another (Larondelle et al., 2005; Pussemier et al., 2006). Pesticides and nitrates, whilst generally the most feared by the consumers, do actually not represent an important health risk since the levels of residues left at harvest are very low (Claeys et al., 2008) and also since those residues levels will further decrease after food processing (Claeys et al., 2011). No clear cut information is available on the other kinds of contaminants. IN WHICH WAY DO LOCAL FOOD AND SHORT SUPPLY CHAINS INFLUENCE THE CONTENT OF BENEFICIAL ORGANIC MICRO‐CONSTITUENT AND ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS? Some of the short food supply chains are characterized by the fact that fruits, vegetables, bread and animal products (milk, cheese, meat) are made from fresh 47

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