Health effects of organically processed food compared to conventionally processed food
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The organic food industry is a growing industry that is gaining more and more market share. Consumers demand food products that are natural, healthy and environmentally sound. The main reason for buying organic food appears to be the alleged beneficial effects on human health. Research into the nutritional value of organic food has mostly focused on agricultural produce. The results from these studies are inconclusive, but indicate that the nutritional value of organic produce is similar to that of produce from conventional agriculture. However, the food consumed by people is not limited to agricultural produce. An increasing amount of the organic products sold have been processed. In organic food processing the use of additives is avoided as much as possible and processing is kept to an absolute minimum. The aim is to produce food that is as close as possible to the natural raw ingredients and that has a minimal detrimental impact on environmental and human health. The claim of healthfulness of organic processed foods is reviewed in this paper, covering both the minimal additive use and minimal processing methods applied.