Wheat Quality in Organic, Conventional Farming

Background and methodology:
This study compared the nutritional value of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) grown in organic farming and conventional farming systems. Compared were macro and micro elements, protein and amino acids. Most findings related to wheat are based on market research studies or data collected from farm comparisons. This study reported the wheat quality findings from 21 years of farming system research in Europe. 

The wheat grains from conventional farming systems had a 6 percent higher protein content than wheat from organic farming systems. The higher protein content in conventional wheat was due to the use of mineral fertilizers. There was no significant difference between organic wheat and conventional wheat in macro and micro elements contents: phosphorous, potassium, calcium, zinc, molybdenum, and cobalt. This study found no difference in the flour milling properties, starch quality, and rheological properties of the dough between conventional and organic wheat. The quality of baked products obtained from conventionally and organically grown wheat was equally good. However, the food preference tests performed with laboratory rats showed that the animals preferred organic over conventionally-grown wheat.

Mader, P., Hahn, D., Dubois, D., Gunst, L., Alfoldi, T., Bergmann, H., Oehme, M., Amado, R., Schneider, H., Graf, U., Velimirov, A., Fliessbach A., and Niggli, U. (2007). Wheat quality in organic and conventional farming: Results of a 21 year field experiment. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 87(10): 1826-1835. Available on-line at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jsfa.2866