Radiation Science and Technology

Submit a Manuscript

Publishing with us to make your research visible to the widest possible audience.

Propose a Special Issue

Building a community of authors and readers to discuss the latest research and develop new ideas.

A Study of the Organic and Nonorganic Food Ingredients with Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis

Organic food is welcomed by the general public because people think organic food is more environment-friendly and can introduce a healthy lifestyle. This popular notion is under scrutiny recently. Compared with conventional food, does the organic food we obtained from local farms and/or supermarket chains are actually chemically healthier? In this research, organic fruit and vegetables with USDA certification from local farmers and popular supermarket chains, along with their conventional counterparts, were collected and studied by a radioanalytical method—instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA). Samples were irradiated by thermal and epithermal neutrons from the PULSTART nuclear reactor. After that, regular gamma-ray spectroscopy was applied to obtain the qualitative and quantitative information of target isotopes. Our preliminary study indicated that there is not much difference in the trace elements content between organic food and its conventional counterpart. Some heavy metals, which are commonly regarded as the source of harmful components, are detected in both categories. In terms of methodology, INAA is proved to be a sensitive radioanalytical tool to tell the elemental information on atomic or nuclear levels. However, as a nuclear technique, it lacks the capability to probe the properties of compounds on the molecular level, which may be the real difference between organic and nonorganic food.

Organic Food, Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis (INAA), Element Analysis

APA Style

Zaijing Sun, Yaoling Long, Qingsheng Cai. (2021). A Study of the Organic and Nonorganic Food Ingredients with Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis. Radiation Science and Technology, 7(3), 53-59. https://doi.org/10.11648/j.rst.20210703.12

ACS Style

Zaijing Sun; Yaoling Long; Qingsheng Cai. A Study of the Organic and Nonorganic Food Ingredients with Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis. Radiat. Sci. Technol. 2021, 7(3), 53-59. doi: 10.11648/j.rst.20210703.12

AMA Style

Zaijing Sun, Yaoling Long, Qingsheng Cai. A Study of the Organic and Nonorganic Food Ingredients with Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis. Radiat Sci Technol. 2021;7(3):53-59. doi: 10.11648/j.rst.20210703.12

Copyright © 2021 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

1. Chekima, B., Oswald, A. I., Wafa, S. A. W. S. K., & Chekima, K. (2017). Narrowing the gap: Factors driving organic food consumption. Journal of Cleaner Production. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2017.08.086.
2. Greene, C., Dimitri, C., & Lin, B. et al. (2009). Emerging Issues in the U.S. Organic Industry. Economic Information Bulletin, (55). Retrieved from http://ers.usda.gov/Briefing/Organic.
3. Apaolaza, V., Hartmann, P., D'Souza, C., & López, C. M. (2018). Eat organic – Feel good? The relationship between organic food consumption, health concern and subjective wellbeing. Food Quality and Preference. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodqual.2017.07.011.
4. Ares, G., de Saldamando, L., Giménez, A., Claret, A., Cunha, L. M., Guerrero, L., … Deliza, R. (2015). Consumers' associations with wellbeing in a food-related context: A cross-cultural study. Food Quality and Preference, 40 (PB), 304–315. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodqual.2014.06.001.
5. Zanoli, R., & Naspetti, S. (2002). Consumer motivations in the purchase of organic food: A means-end approach. British Food Journal, 104 (8), 643–653. https://doi.org/10.1108/00070700210425930.
6. Batte, M. T., Hooker, N. H., Haab, T. C., & Beaverson, J. (2007). Putting their money where their mouths are: Consumer willingness to pay for multi-ingredient, processed organic food products. Food Policy. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodpol.2006.05.003.
7. Kiesel, K., & Villas-Boas, S. B. (2007). Got Organic Milk? Consumer Valuations of Milk Labels after the Implementation of the USDA Organic Seal. Journal of Agricultural & Food Industrial Organization, 5 (1). https://doi.org/10.2202/1542-0485.1152.
8. Dumas, C. (2019). U.S. organic sales top $50 billion. Retrieved February 6, 2020, from https://smallagpress.com/u-s-organic-sales-top-50-billion.
9. Willer, H., Schlatter, B., Trávnícek, J., Kemper, L., & Julia, L. (Eds). (2020). The World Of Organic Agriculture. Statistics & emerging trends 2020. Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL) & IFOAM - Organic International.
10. Chestnut, C. K. (2014). Cost Comparison of Foods Purchased for an All-Organic Diet and a Conventional, Nonorganic Diet (East Carolina University). Retrieved from http://thescholarship.ecu.edu/handle/10342/4387.
11. Shahidul, I. (2013). Retail price differential between organic and conventional foods. Proceedings of ASBBS, 20 (1), 537–545.
12. Greenberg, R. R., Bode, P., & De Nadai Fernandes, E. A. (2011). Neutron activation analysis: A primary method of measurement. Spectrochimica Acta - Part B Atomic Spectroscopy, 66 (3–4), 193–241. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sab.2010.12.011.
13. E. A. De Nadai Fernandes et al. (2002) Organic coffee discrimination with INAA and data mining/KDD techniques: New perspectives for coffee trade, Accred. Qual. Assur. 7: 378-387. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00769-002-0531-6.
14. Christian Turra et al. (2011) Chemical Elements in Organic and Conventional Sweet Oranges, Biol Trace Elem Res, 144: 1289–1294. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12011-011-9127-5.
15. NCSU (2016). Tabulated Reactor Data. Retrieved from https://www.ne.ncsu.edu/nrp/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2016/07/PULspecs.pdf.
16. NIST (2015). Certificate of Analysis Standard Reference Material 1648a Urban Particulate Matter. Retrieved from https://www-s.nist.gov/srmors/certificates/1648A.pdf.
17. Glascock, M. D. (2015). Tables for Analytical Methods at MURR: NAA, XRF, and ICP-MS. The University of Missouri.
18. Rahman, M. A., Rahman, M. M., et al. (2014). Heavy metals in Australian grown and imported rice and vegetables on sale in Australia: Health hazard. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, 100 (1), 53–60. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoenv.2013.11.024.
19. Fathabad, A. E., Shariatifar, N., et al. (2018). Determination of heavy metal content of processed fruit products from Tehran's market using ICP- OES: A risk assessment study. Food and Chemical Toxicology, 115 (March), 436–446. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fct.2018.03.044.
20. Kumar, S., Prasad, S., Yadav, et al. (2019). Hazardous heavy metals contamination of vegetables and food chain: Role of sustainable remediation approaches - A review. Environmental Research, 179 (June), 108792. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2019.108792 Pivovarenko Y. (2020) Negative Electrization of the Sargasso Sea as the Cause of Its Anomaly. American Journal of Electromagnetics and Applications, 8 (2), 33-39.