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A critical review of superfoods from a holistic nutritional and environmental approach

Abstract: In a global arena in which the identification of healthier and cleaner nutrient sources is practically mandatory, superfoods, known as foods of high nutritional and biological value with satisfactory bioavailability and bioactivity within the body due to extraordinary concentrations of nutrients and bioactive ingredients, can play a key role. These products are highly connected with sustainability, which is composed of an economic, environmental, and social balance, mainly translated in meeting nutritional needs. Focusing on the two latter aspects, this article is intended to provide a breakthrough in the knowledge by assessing the nutritional characteristics and environmental performance of superfoods. Firstly, a selection is made by revising the nutritional profile of different products. Secondly, a review of life cycle assessment (LCA) studies aims to establish guidelines for future analyses, based on the current state-of-art and possible recommendations, as well as to provide information on the impacts of these novel products. 40 superfoods are identified, of which only 15 have environmental analysis. The LCA revision enable to recognize methodological vulnerabilities based on the lack of definition of the function, allocations, uncertainty and quality assessments, as well as a weak justification on the selection of data sources and impact categories. Other recommendations include the possibility of using nutrient-based functional unit, extending system boundaries up to retailer, applying high quality primary data and standardized databases, and analyzing a wider range of indicators. Finally, this scientific field is still little explored, so the suitability of superfoods from an environmental perspective cannot be concluded, thus encouraging the use of LCA to fill this scientific gap.

Otras publicaciones de la misma revista o congreso con autores/as de la Universidad de Cantabria

 Autoría: Fernández-Ríos A., Laso J., Hoehn D., Amo-Setién F.J., Abajas-Bustillo R., Ortego C., Fullana-i-Palmer P., Bala A., Batlle-Bayer L., Balcells M., Puig R., Aldaco R., Margallo M.,

 Fuente: Journal of Cleaner Production, 2022, 379(1), 134491

Editorial: Elsevier

 Año de publicación: 2022

Nº de páginas: 13

Tipo de publicación: Artículo de Revista

 DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2022.134491

ISSN: 0959-6526,1879-1786

Proyecto español: PID2019-104925RB

Url de la publicación: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2022.134491

Autores/as

DANIEL HOEHN CAPRACCI

PERE FULLANA I PALMER

ALBA BALA GALA

LAURA BATLLE BAYER

BALCELLS FLUVIÀ, MERCÈ

PUIG VIDAL, RITA