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Peltonen-Sainio P.,National Resources Institute Finland | Salo T.,National Resources Institute Finland | Jauhiainen L.,National Resources Institute Finland | Lehtonen H.,National Resources Institute Finland | Sievilainen E.,Finnish Food Safety Authority
Ambio | Year: 2015

The Finnish agri-environmental program (AEP) has been in operation for 20 years with >90 % farmer commitment. This study aimed to establish whether reduced nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) use has impacted spring cereal yields and quality based on comprehensive follow-up studies and long-term experiments. We found that the gap between genetic yield potential and attained yield has increased after the AEP was imposed. However, many contemporary changes in agricultural practices, driven by changes in prices and farm subsidies, also including the AEP, were likely reasons, together with reduced N, but not phosphorus use. Such overall changes in crop management coincided with stagnation or decline in yields and adverse changes in quality, but yield-removed N increased and residual N decreased. Further studies are needed to assess whether all the changes are environmentally, economically, and socially sustainable, and acceptable, in the long run. The concept of sustainable intensification is worth considering as a means to develop northern European agricultural systems to combine environmental benefits with productivity. © 2015, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. Source


Valimaa A.-L.,National Resources Institute Finland | Tilsala-Timisjarvi A.,National Resources Institute Finland | Virtanen E.,National Resources Institute Finland
Food Control | Year: 2015

Listeria monocytogenes is a facultative pathogenic saprophyte. It can cause a severe disease, listeriosis, which is currently considered to be one of the leading food-borne diseases worldwide. L.monocytogenes can be found in raw and processed foods. Particularly ready-to-eat (RTE) foods are sources of Listeria infections. RTE foods have a long shelf life, because they are stored at low temperatures and in vacuum or modified atmosphere packages. Additionally, they are usually consumed without any additional cooking. As L.monocytogenes can multiply over a wide range of pH and osmolarity, at low temperatures, and both under aerobic and anaerobic conditions, this is a particular concern and necessitates control along the food chain. A wide variety of culture and alternative methods have been developed in order to detect or quantify this pathogen in food. Here are presented the most rapid and sensitive methods (<48h) found in the literature that have been used with artificially and/or naturally contaminated food samples. In addition to being much more rapid, many of them were as sensitive as the standard methods. However, many methods still need to be more thoroughly validated. © 2015. Source

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