Global trends in food quality: an exploratory study in fresh produce supply chains
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The original publication is available at www.actahort.org
The provision of safe food which protects customers' integrity and provides consumers with the desired taste is expected to remain the major priority in world food markets in the foreseeable future. While reducing microbial contamination, chemical contaminants and pesticide residues will gain in importance, ethical products and functional foods are the emerging priorities. Food businesses will need to give much greater attention towards minimising water use and pollution, more sustainable production systems, worker welfare and waste management. Recyclable packaging, conservation and biodiversity, food miles and reducing salinity and land degradation are the emerging environmental issues. Country-of-origin is perceived to be the most important indicator of food quality both now and in the foreseeable future. Identifying which food preservatives, food colourings and flavour enhancing compounds have been used in the food will continue to grow in importance as consumers move towards more natural, unadulterated food products. Identifying the presence of potential allergens is critically important for the growing number of susceptible consumers. The food energy content and the use of sugar and artificial sweeteners are the emerging issues, with the presence of genetically modified organisms and eco-labelling poised to become more prominent in the long-term.
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