Randi Seljåsen

Research Scientist

(+47) 406 22 915
randi.seljaasen@nibio.no

Place
Landvik

Visiting address
Reddalsveien 215, 4886 Grimstad

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Abstract

The project “Sustainable food production through quality optimized raw-material production and processing technologies for premium quality vegetable products and generated by-products” [SUNNIVA] aimed at the development of a sustainable food system from production to consumption, addressing the entire food supply chain for the vegetables tomato and Brassicae. The goal was better utilisation of the vegetable raw materials, reduced energy and water consumption, higher profitability and healthier food. This was achieved by providing various valorisation strategies to reduce waste and limiting environmental impact. Preservation of the intrinsic health-beneficial phytochemicals present in the raw material in order to improve the nutritional properties of vegetable food products was central in the project. The project contained optimization of harvest time and pre-processing storage conditions, development of novel mild processing design based on modelling, and a two-track valorisation strategy. SUNNIVA has demonstrated how the various residual raw materials can be exploited to the full: Either directly for sustainable production of healthy food (as a refined product or an ingredient), or indirectly by bringing it back into the food chain (as organic fertilizers and soil amendment products) in order to generate renewed primary production with minimal environmental impact.

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Abstract

A circular bioeconomy has become a global aspiration for governments in Europe and around the globe. This article pursues research questions concerning concrete innovations aiming to create bioeconomic transition options in Norway and presents results from a transdisciplinary investigation of Norwegian food industry cases involving processing of fish, meat, fruit, and vegetable co-streams aiming to capture or even increase use and value of residues from processing. It shows that while objectives of avoiding food losses and transforming co-streams to new products of higher value characterizes the poultry industry case and part of the ‘blue’ sector, challenges remain particularly in the ‘whitefish’ area where - also at the global level - a high share of fish resources ends as rest raw materials, i.e. not fully utilised. The investigation targeted strategic cases of innovations enabling alternative uses of co-streams: automation and scanning technologies for fractioning raw materials and co-streams into different qualities, a collection system for fish rest raw materials at sea, enzymatic hydrolysis, use of second grade vegetables for smoothies and potato peels for biodegradable plastics in the vegetable (potato) processing industries. The article shows how these innovations enable cascading and valorisation of co-streams and why an upcycling potential exists as well. Its main contribution is in demonstrating feasibility of transdisciplinary research and innovative options for bioeconomic transition towards sustainability.

Abstract

Matching high performing varieties of legumes with effective symbiotic N-fixing bacteria can potentially enhance production volumes and economic returns when cultivating grain legumes. We investigated whether field inoculation with local or introduced Rhizobia to six different varieties of faba bean improved growth, nitrogen (N) fixation and protein content in a field experiment in Southern Norway. In 2016, a full factorial experiment featuring three inoculation treatments (a mixture of four morphotypes of Rhizobia isolated from locally grown faba bean, a mix of two efficient and well documented Rhizobium strains from Latvia, and a non-inoculated control treatment) and six faba bean (Vicia faba) genotypes (Agua Dulce, Bauska, Jõgeva, Gloria, Julia, Lielplatones) was set up in an experimental field with sandy loam soil with no recent legume culture history (>10 years). At late flowering/early pod formation stage we quantified N fixation of the crop using the N-15 natural abundance method, using weeds from the same plots as reference plants. We also assessed morphological and phenological characters, seed yields and protein levels at plant maturity. Clear differences were observed, and detailed results from this study will be presented at the conference (analyses are still pending). This research is a part of the EU FP7 project Eurolegume.

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Abstract

BACKGROUND Broccoli (Brassica oleracea L. var. italica) is a popular vegetable grown at a wide range of latitudes. Plants were grown in 2009–2011 in pots with standardized soil, irrigation and nutrient supply under natural temperature and light conditions at four locations (42–70° N). A descriptive sensory analysis of broccoli florets was performed by a trained panel to examine any differences along the latitudinal gradient for 30 attributes within appearance, odour, taste/flavour and texture. RESULTS Average results over three summer seasons in Germany, southern Norway and northern Norway showed that the northernmost location with low temperatures and long days had highest scores for bud coarseness and uniform colour, while broccoli from the German location, with high temperatures and shorter days, had highest intensity of colour hue, whiteness, bitter taste, cabbage flavour, stale flavour and watery flavour. Results from two autumn seasons at the fourth location (42° N, Spain), with low temperatures and short days, tended toward results from the two northernmost locations, with an exception for most texture attributes. CONCLUSION Results clearly demonstrate that temperature and light conditions related to latitude and season affect the sensory quality of broccoli florets. Results may be used in marketing special quality regional or seasonal products. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry

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Abstract

More sustainable production of high-quality, nutritious food is of worldwide interest. Increasing nutrient recycling into food systems is a step in this direction. The objective of the present study was to determine nitrogen (N) fertiliser effects of four waste-derived and organic materials in a cropping sequence of broccoli, potato and lettuce grown at two latitudes (58° and 67° N) in Norway during three years. Effects of anaerobically digested food waste (AD), shrimp shell (SS), algae meal (AM) and sheep manure (SM) at different N application rates (80 and 170 kg N ha–1 for broccoli, and 80 and 60 kg N ha–1 for potato and lettuce, respectively) and residual effects were tested on crop yield, N uptake, N recovery efficiency (NRE), N balance, N content in produce, mineral N in soil, product quality parameters and content of nitrate in lettuce. Mineral fertiliser (MF) served as control. Effects on yield, N uptake, NRE, N balance and product quality parameters could to a great extent be explained by estimated potentially plant-available N, which ranked in the order of AD>SS>SM>AM. Results for crops fertilised with AD and SS were not significantly different from MF at the same N application rate, while AM, in agreement with its negative effect on N mineralisation, gave negative or near-neutral effects compared to the control. No residual effect was detected after the year of application. The results showed that knowledge about N dynamics of relevant organic waste-derived fertilisers is necessary to decide on the timing and rate of application.

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Abstract

Quality traits are highly focused upon in the marketing of organic food products. There is a need to define and measure quality as consumers seem to have preconceived notions about the superior health value and taste of organic compared to non-organic products. A commonly held opinion among many consumer groups is that organic farming guarantees optimum quality, despite the fact that this remains unproven. The aim of this paper is to contribute to a better understanding of the complexity of quality traits in a plant-based food product, using carrots as an example. Selected designated quality aspects are presented to describe the complexity of quality and discuss the challenges of using these aspects in differentiating between organic and conventional products. The paper concludes we have insufficient tools to be able to adequately authenticate organically produced carrots. The same may be the case for most vegetables and fruit products. Suggestions for further studies include the soil and location aspect (terroir), in order to trace a product back to its origin in an organically or conventionally farmed field by finding a unique fingerprint for chemical constituents of samples.

Abstract

Aim: The objective was to assess the nitrogen provided to following crops by peas and fava beans, with varying legume residue incorporation and use of cover crops. Meth: Organic field trial, ‘spilt-split plot design’ with 4 blocks. Whole plots (spring 2014) had legumes (pea or faba beans), and sub plots (autumn 2014) had 4 autumn soil treatments with combinations of legume residue incorporation and cover crop. The sub-sub plots (spring 2015) were with and without additional manure fertilization. Res: The root biomass of both legume pre cops had equal nitrogen (N) concentration, but total root biomass was twice as high for fava beans as for peas (5.08 vs. 2.41 kg m-2). Fava bean pre crop with biomass incorporation without cover crop gave the highest broccoli yield (4.10 t ha-1) compared with pea pre crop with biomass incorporation and no cover crop (2.44 t ha -1). Also the last crop in the rotation, lettuce, had 94% higher yield after fava beans (6.6 t ha-1) compared to peas (3.4 t ha-1). Rye as cover crop efficiently assimilated and conserved N during winter, shown by a 4 to 5 fold reduction in soil NO3-N, and nearly 2 fold reduction in soil N-min levels, compared to open soil. Additional manure application affected crop yield, with 3 and 2 fold increase in broccoli and lettuce respectively. Conc: Fava beans as pre crop resulted in higher yields of broccoli and lettuce the following seasons, compared to peas. This was explained twice as much root biomass for that crop.

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Abstract

Organic vegetable production attempts to pursue multiple goals concerning influence on environment, production resources, and human health. In areas with limited availability of animal manure, there is a need for considering various off-farm nutrient resources for such production. Different organic and waste-derived fertilizer materials were used for broccoli production at two latitudes (58° and 67°) in Norway during two years. The fertilizer materials were applied at two rates of total N (80 and 170 kg ha–1) and compared with mineral fertilizer (170 kg ha–1) and no fertilizer. Broccoli yield was strongly influenced by fertilizer materials (algae meal < unfertilized control < sheep manure < extruded shrimp shell < anaerobically digested food waste < mineral fertilizer). Yield, but not glucosinolate content, was linearly correlated with estimated potentially plant-available N. However, extruded shrimp shell and mineral NPK fertilizer gave higher glucosinolate contents than sheep manure and no fertilizer. Sensory attributes were less affected by fertilizer material and plant-available N.

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Abstract

The effect of different degrees of attack by carrot psyllid (Trioza apicalis) on quality parameters of carrots was studied in field experiments for two years. Treatments were different degrees of physical insect protection by floating row cover. An increasing attack level of psyllids showed an enhancement effect on the antioxidant capacity (ORAC), content of falcarindiol, 6-methoxymellein, and terpenes, and scores for bitter taste, chemical flavor, terpene flavor, and toughness. Carrot psyllid attack decreased the yield, total sugar, fructose, glucose, and sensory attributes sweet taste, color hue, color strength, crispiness, and juiciness. Carrot plants at 8−10 weeks of age tolerated attack by psyllids at low levels (2% leaves with curling or discoloration).

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Abstract

In this review, we provide an overview of the role of glucosinolates and other phytochemical compounds present in the Brassicaceae in relation to plant protection and human health. Current knowledge of the factors that influence phytochemical content and profile in the Brassicaceae is also summarized and multi-factorial approaches are briefly discussed. Variation in agronomic conditions (plant species, cultivar, developmental stage, plant organ, plant competition, fertilization, pH), season, climatic factors, water availability, light (intensity, quality, duration) and CO2 are known to significantly affect content and profile of phytochemicals. Phytochemicals such as the glucosinolates and leaf surface waxes play an important role in interactions with pests and pathogens. Factors that affect production of phytochemicals are important when designing plant protection strategies that exploit these compounds to minimize crop damage caused by plant pests and pathogens. Brassicaceous plants are consumed increasingly for possible health benefits, for example, glucosinolate-derived effects on degenerative diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases. Thus, factors influencing phytochemical content and profile in the production of brassicaceous plants are worth considering both for plant and human health. Even though it is known that factors that influence phytochemical content and profile may interact, studies of plant compounds were, until recently, restricted by methods allowing only a reductionistic approach. It is now possible to design multi-factorial experiments that simulate their combined effects. This will provide important information to ecologists, plant breeders and agronomists.

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Abstract

Abstract Two field trials are reported on Jerusalem artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus L.). Firstly, twenty genetic variants were compared with respect to crop yield, morphology and content of sugars and FOS in order to find genotypes suitable for Norwegian production. The highest yield and highest number of tubers per plant was obtained in early flowering variants, e.g. the white variant ‘Tysnes" gave 1.72 kg tubers per plant (28.7 t haa-1). Such early variants had markedly lower portion of smooth tubers. Late variants gave the most preferable tuber shape, but the yield was only half of the most productive ones. Dry matter content (%DM) varied from 19.67 to 23.33. Only a weak correlation was found between dry matter content and total content of FOS (r = 0.255) in the tubers. The mean content of FOS including sucrose through all variants was found to be 11.6 g 100g-1 FW or 55.0 g 100g-1 DW by measurement of non-hydrolyzed plant. Average chain length of FOS in the tubers was found to be DP3.9. There was no difference in tuber FOS content between flowering and non flowering variants. A second trial investigated the above ground part of one flowering and two late or non flowering variants during the growing season. Highest biomass was found for the late or non flowering variants when harvested in September. Total dry matter at time of harvest were found to be 0.21, 0.55 and 0,44 kg plant-1 for the variants ‘Dagnoytral", ‘Elverum" and ‘Krogerup" respectively (5.4, 14.1 and 11.3 t haa-1). At time of harvest stalks of ‘Elverum" and ‘Krogerup" contained 1.25 and 0.77 % fructose (DM) and 3.40 and 1.91 % sucrose. The content of soluble carbohydrates was found to be highest in stalks in August (sucrose and FOS major compounds).