Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Assessing land-use typologies and change intensities in a structurally complex Ghanaian cocoa landscape
Tutu Benefoh, Daniel ; Villamor, Grace B. ; Noordwijk, Meine van; Borgemeister, Christian ; Asante, Winston A. ; Asubonteng, Kwabena O. - \ 2018
Applied Geography 99 (2018). - ISSN 0143-6228 - p. 109 - 119.
Cocoa - Deforestation - Image-fusion - Intensity analysis - Land-use transitions

Cocoa plantation is a major land-use system that influences the functional structure of the forest landscape in Ghana. As a key driver of forest landscape dynamics, there is no adequate existing information on the nature, extent and magnitude of land-use change associated with cocoa expansion into forests. Therefore, we have studied the land-use transitions and intensities by using image-fusion on vegetation indices (VI) and a digital elevation model (DEM) to detect and distinguish cocoa plantation from the forest and other vegetation types. This was followed by intensity analysis based on historical land-use changes. With the VI-DEM image, we mapped out different cocoa plantations from the forest and other vegetations with a higher degree of success. The land-use categories were clustered into five main types (closed forest, open-forest, cocoa, lands-in-transition and settlement) to evaluate the transition and intensities from 1986 to 2015. The results showed two main transition patterns, namely 1) the conversion of forest to settlement and cocoa plantation; 2) the conversion of closed forests to open forest, due to logging and conversion of cocoa plantation to lands-in-transition (LIT). The intensity analysis further revealed that expansion in cocoa plantation instead targets least resisted open-forest and LIT areas with an isolated localised fragment of the fringes of forest reserves. Generally, the study revealed that the VI-DEM image-fusion technique is effective for detecting and isolating cocoa plantations, forest and other land-uses with high accuracy. Estimation of cocoa-led deforestation improved after isolating cocoa plantations. Cocoa expansions target more often open-forest and lands-in-transition than closed-forest. When cocoa expansion occurs in closed-forest, it is episodic, localised and coincides with the early stage of the boom-bust pattern.

Biomarkers of food intake for cocoa and liquorice (products) : A systematic review
Michielsen, Charlotte C.J.R. ; Almanza-Aguilera, Enrique ; Brouwer-Brolsma, Elske M. ; Urpi-Sarda, Mireia ; Afman, L.A. - \ 2018
Genes & Nutrition 13 (2018)1. - ISSN 1555-8932
Biomarkers - Cacao - Chocolate - Cocoa - Licorice - Liquorice - Metabolites - Metabolomics

Background: To unravel true links between diet and health, it is important that dietary exposure is accurately measured. Currently, mainly self-reporting methods (e.g. food frequency questionnaires and 24-h recalls) are used to assess food intake in epidemiological studies. However, these traditional instruments are subjective measures and contain well-known biases. Especially, estimating the intake of the group of confectionary products, such as products containing cocoa and liquorice, remains a challenge. The use biomarkers of food intake (BFIs) may provide a more objective measurement. However, an overview of current candidate biomarkers and their validity is missing for both cocoa- and liquorice-containing foods. Objective: The purpose of the current study was to (1) identify currently described candidate BFIs for cocoa (products) and liquorice, (2) to evaluate the validity of these identified candidate BFIs and (3) to address further validation and/or identification work to be done. Methods: This systematic review was based on a comprehensive literature search of three databases (PubMed, Scopus and ISI web of Science), to identify candidate BFIs. Via a second search step in the Human Metabolome Database (HMDB), the Food Database (FooDB) and Phenol-Explorer, the specificity of the candidate BFIs was evaluated, followed by an evaluation of the validity of the specific candidate BFIs, via pre-defined criteria. Results: In total, 37 papers were included for cocoa and 8 papers for liquorice. For cocoa, 164 unique candidate BFIs were obtained, and for liquorice, four were identified in total. Despite the high number of identified BFIs for cocoa, none of the metabolites was specific. Therefore, the validity of these compounds was not further examined. For liquorice intake, 18-glycyrrhetinic acid (18-GA) was found to have the highest assumed validity. Conclusions: For cocoa, specific BFIs were missing, mainly because the individual BFIs were also found in foods having a similar composition, such as tea (polyphenols) or coffee (caffeine). However, a combination of individual BFIs might lead to discriminating profiles between cocoa (products) and foods with a similar composition. Therefore, studies directly comparing the consumption of cocoa to these similar products are needed, enabling efforts to find a unique profile per product. For liquorice, we identified 18-GA as a promising BFI; however, important information on its validity is missing; thus, more research is necessary. Our findings indicate a need for more studies to determine acceptable BFIs for both cocoa and liquorice.

Constructing a multinationals' inclusive sourcing indicator for impacting farmer business models : Application in cocoa cases
Sjauw-Koen-Fa, August R. ; Omta, S.W.F. ; Blok, Vincent - \ 2018
International Journal on Food System Dynamics 9 (2018)3. - ISSN 1869-6945 - p. 207 - 225.
Certification - Cocoa - CSR - Food multinationals - Smallholders - Supply chain management - Sustainable sourcing

Cocoa multinationals have committed themselves to source and use close to 100 percent sustainable certified cocoa beans, aiming to improve farmers' livelihoods. As their current sourcing strategy is aimed mainly at environmental sustainability, they need a different one. This study seeks to amend this by providing an inclusive sourcing indicator, representing the integral costs of certified cocoa beans, to leverage values to impact farmers business model in high value-adding supply chains. Because this indicator is explorative indicator the applicability has been explored in four cases in Ghana and the Ivory Coast from the literature. This study's findings call for a review of conventional sourcing models and certification schemes to anticipate the mainstreaming of sustainable sourcing and the improvement of farmers' livelihoods.

Design cocoa processing towards healthy cocoa products : The role of phenolics and melanoidins
Quiroz-Reyes, Cinthya Nathaly ; Fogliano, Vincenzo - \ 2018
Journal of Functional Foods 45 (2018). - ISSN 1756-4646 - p. 480 - 490.
Antioxidant activity - Cocoa - Maillard reaction - Melanoidins - Phenolic compounds - Roasting process
Roasting and fermentation are key steps in cocoa processing that can be modulated to optimize the presence of health-promoting compounds in the final product. Roasting promote melanoidins formation and polyphenols depolymerization. Results of Forastero and Criollo cocoa beans were processed in different conditions showed that higher fat content and high phenolic content could promote melanoidins formation. Forastero variety had the highest melanoidins and phenols concentration under severe roasting conditions. More severe thermal treatment decreased the concentration of total phenolic compounds and proanthocyanidins in both varieties and also influenced the flavan-3-ols profile. The antioxidant activity determined using DPPH Quencher assay was the highest in Forastero fractions above 20 kDa obtained under severe roasting condition; thus supporting the idea that melanoidins play a major role in roasted cocoa antioxidant activity. It can be concluded that a proper design of roasting process and the adequate selection of cocoa variety can optimize the cocoa health potential; especially melanoidins and phenolic compounds.
An innovation platform for institutional change in Ghana's cocoa sector
Adu-Acheampong, Richard ; Jiggins, J.L.S. ; Quartey, Ebenezer Tei ; Karikari, Nana Maxwell ; Jonfia-Essien, William ; Quarshie, Edward ; Osei-Fosu, Paul ; Amuzu, Maxwell ; Afari-Mintah, Charles ; Ofori-Frimpong, Kwasi ; Sakyi-dawson, Owuraku - \ 2017
Cahiers Agricultures 26 (2017)3. - ISSN 1777-5949
Cocoa - Pest control - Price formation - Stakeholder-led change - Value chain

Cocoa is a major source of employment, smallholder farmers' incomes, and export revenue in Ghana. However, by 2010 institutional constraints throughout the value chain were failing to sustain bean quality and cocoa production. A national-level innovation platform, comprising key public and private actors in the cocoa sector, was established in 2010 to analyse and act to address this concern. The members' initial inquiries revealed that: farmers indirectly were paying for the national mass spraying and Hi-Tech input programmes, both provided free at the point of delivery. As the largest components in the cost structure, these programmes to a large extent accounted for the low price paid to farmers for their beans; a volatile exchange rate regime meant that often the prevailing rate was not equal to its equilibrium level; policies that heavily taxed cocoa were destroying farmers' expectation of long-term profitability. This paper draws on data recorded from the beginning 2009 to end 2013 by means of theory-guided process tracing 5(TGPT), to show how the platform contributed to increased prices for farmers, to subsequent reform of the input supply arrangements, and to changes to the mass spraying programme. The key causal mechanisms identified are policy learning and progressive amendment of existing institutions. The paper concludes by drawing lessons for the role of an innovation platform.

Embedding research for innovation to meet societal needs in national research systems : Experiences from Ghana
Osei-Amponsah, Charity ; Sakyi-Dawson, Owuraku ; Adjei-Nsiah, Samuel ; Adu-Acheampong, Richard ; Essegbey, George ; Quarmine, William - \ 2016
Cahiers Agricultures 25 (2016)6. - ISSN 1777-5949
Cocoa - Cross-scale agricultural transformations - Ghana - Innovation platforms - Institutional innovation - Oil palm

The experiences synthesised in this article indicate how significant effects in two agricultural domains have been achieved by creating pathways for inter-dependent socio-technical and institutional changes, at a range of levels of action, governance and policy-making. The synthesis emphasizes the importance of co-learning, experimentation, and critical reflection among a wide network of 'champions' of transformational change on behalf of smallholder farmers and processors. It shows that innovation processes may involve actors along entire value chains, industry leaders at national level, or local level actors seeking to widen the space for change beyond their immediate circle of direct influence. While the research and development initiatives of the domains are shown to have been critical in identifying the constraints and opportunities of smallholders, and also to the effects documented, this was largely because the research effort converged around empirically grounded problems and opportunities identified. The information sought, and the solutions found useful, were determined by the members of innovation platforms that drove the processes of change.

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