Organic Oats & Phenolic Compounds

Background and Methodology
Dimberg et al (200) evaluated the variations in the free hydroxycinnamic acids (HCAs), avenanthramides (AVAs) and the sucrose-linked truxinic (TASE) in oat grains as influenced by cultivation system (conventional vs. organic). Treatments were three cultivars of oats, two levels of nitrogen (N) replicated three times and grown according to standards for both conventional and organic farming in Sweden from 1998 to 2000. The conventionally grown oats were given potassium nitrate with sulfur (NKS 27-2-7) at sowing to a level of 70 kg ha-1 and 120 kg ha-1. The organic system was treated with N in the form of pelleted hen manure with nutritional content of NPK 6-3-12 in addition to farm yard manure (70 kg N ha-1) from organically fed cattle. 

The claim generally is that organically produced plant foods could be expected to be more health-promoting than conventional foods due to the higher amounts of secondary phenolic metabolites. In this study, none of the phenolic compounds analyzed showed different concentrations due to the cropping system used. The results of the study therefore did not support the theory that the content of phenolic compounds in organically grown plants would be higher as a result of the absence of disease control.


Dimberg, L. H., Gissén, C., & Nilsson, J. (2005). Phenolic compounds in oats grains (Avena sativa L.) grown in conventional and organic systems. Ambio 34(4-5):331-337.