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Effect of wheat species (Triticum aestivum vs T. spelta), farming system (organic vs conventional) and flour type (wholegrain vs white) on composition of wheat flour – results of a retail survey in the UK and Germany - 3. Pesticide residue content

Lookup NU author(s): Gultakin Hasanaliyeva, Lisa Wood, Emeritus Professor Chris SealORCiD, Dr Marcin Baranski, Dr Leo RempelosORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Wheat is a major component of the Northern European diet and contributes significantly to dietary pesticide exposure. Here we report results of a 2- year retail survey, which compared pesticide residues in organic and conventional, whole-grain and white, common and Spelt wheat flour brands available in the UK and Germany. Pesticide residues were detected significantly more frequently in conventional (87%) than organic (25%) flour samples. Chlormequat, a plant growth regulator, was the most frequently detected compound. Total concentrations of pesticide residues were (a) ~2.5 times higher in conventional than organic, (b) ~50% higher in common than Spelt wheat flour and (c) ~50% higher in conventional whole-grain than white flour samples, but (d) not significantly different in organic whole-grain and white flour. Results suggest that the use of organic wheat products allows increased whole-grain cereal consumption in line with nutritional recommendations, without an increase in dietary pesticide intake.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Wang J, Hasanalieva G, Wood L, Anagnostopoulos C, Ampadogiannis G, Bempelou E, Kiousi M, Markelou E, Iversen PO, Seal C, Baranski M, Vigar V, Leifert C, Rempelos L

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Food Chemistry: X

Year: 2020

Volume: 7

Online publication date: 29/03/2020

Acceptance date: 27/03/2020

Date deposited: 07/04/2020

ISSN (print): 2590-1575

Publisher: Elsevier


DOI: 10.1016/j.fochx.2020.100089


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