Climate Change Effects on the Perceived and Nutritional Quality of Fruit and Vegetables

Par Miltiadis Christopoulos, Georgia Ouzounidou
Global climate change, its risks and required measures for their mitigation is of great importance for the agro-food sector. The present paper reviews the climate change impacts of major factors (global warming and elevated atmospheric CO2) and minor and/or indirect factors (O3 concentration, salinity and drought) on the perceived and nutritional quality of fruit and vegetables. Climate change could improve some quality traits related to the primary metabolism (e.g. photosynthesis), such as flavor associated with carbohydrates (e.g. sweetness). Also, it could enhance biochemical pathways related to the defense mechanisms of plants resulting in the improvement of some nutritional traits (e.g. antioxidants). The negative effects of climate change could be observed on product appearance (e.g. visual disorders, malformations) and nutritional value related to protein, mineral and amino acids. However, the interactions between all climate change-related factors and other factors such as genetic material and agricultural practices make it difficult to formulate a clear projection of the future impact on the quality of fruit and vegetables.
JEL Codes: O13, O30
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