Metabolite Profiles of Wheat from Organic, Conventional Systems

Background and methodology:

The study obtained a metabolite profile (substances involved in metabolism) for wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) grown under comparable organic and conventional conditions. Researchers analyzed wheat from a long-term biodynamic, bio-organic and conventional farming system from a 2003 harvest in Switzerland.  


The findings indicated that it was possible to detect relative levels of a set of 52 different metabolites, including amino acids, organic acids, sugars, sugar alcohols, sugar phosphates and nucleotides. Within the metabolites from all field trials, including mineralic and no fertilizer, there was a maximum 50% difference between the highest and lowest mean values. Statistical analysis of the data shows differences of about 10 to 40 percent between dynamic, bio-organic and conventional wheat grain in eight of the 52 detected metabolites. These results indicate that there is no or only a small impact from different farming systems on the nutritional value of the products. This study also could not conclude that photosynthesis was limited in plants from organic fertilized field trials.


Zorb, C., Langenkamper, G., Betsche, T., Niehaus, K., & Barsch, A. (2006). Metabolite profiling of wheat grains (Triticum aestivum L) from organic and conventional agriculture. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 54(21), 8301-8306. Available on-line at: