State of Science :: TOC Funded Programs
Davies 2006 Project Description
"Nutritional and Biological Properties of Organic Food"
A Two-Year Project Funded by The Organic Center
Laboratory of Dr. Neal Davies
School of Pharmacology
Washington State University
GOALS: To identify, quantify, and contrast the cancer prevention, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and health-promoting properties of conventional and organic fresh produce and processed foods and beverages.
To develop, refine, and test the analytical components of a food quality index under development by The Organic Center, and to conduct pilot project testing using the index.
To explore and test cell assay and laboratory animal models of aging, neurological development and function, and sexual development and reproductive performance to develop a quick turn around, cost-effective battery of tests for use in assessing linkages between food quality and health promotion.
To participate in and contribute to Organic Center-funded research exploring the physiological processes and biological factors and dynamics leading to differences in food quality as a function of farming systems and biotic and abiotic factors, including supporting the analytical needs of the WSU-based team working with the Center in these areas of research.
In particular, work under this grant will focus on produce and food products containing phloretin (i.e. apples, tomatoes, strawberries) and other phytochemicals We will explore the impacts of farming systems on phloretin and other antioxidant levels, as well as the impacts on storage, shelf-life, and biological activity.
HYPOTHESES: Organic produce and grocery products have enhanced phloretin and therefore provide additional anti-cancer, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and neurological benefits as compared to conventional products. The health-promoting benefits of organic food containing elevated levels of antioxidants is augmented by the relative absence of pesticide residues in organic food.
OBJECTIVES: 1. Develop and validate a novel method of analysis of polyhenols, including but not limited to flavonoids, stilbenes, anthocyanins, isoflavonoids including phloretin a powerful antioxidant and potential chemopreventive polyphenol found in apples, tomatoes and strawberries.
2. Measure polyphenols such as phloretin in the skin and flesh of different commercially available organic and conventional produce after storage in regular storage and shelf-life intervals.
3. Measure the capacity of polyhenols such as phloretin and conventional and organic products high in polyphenols to prevent in vitro cancer cell growth, to demonstrate anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and behavioural activity from selected samples identified in Objective 2. 3. Examine the adverse neurological effects of food additives and pesticides that are present in conventional foods in models of memory, anxiety and brain cells.
Dr. Neal M. Davies
Dr. Yusuke Ohgami, Post-doctoral fellow
Jaime Yanez, PhD Candidate
Connie Remsberg, PharmD Candidate