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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 – 2. Antioxidant activity, and phenolic and mineral content

Lookup NU author(s): Emeritus Professor Chris SealORCiD, Dr Leo RempelosORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


© 2020There is strong evidence for health benefits from whole-grain wheat consumption and these have been linked to their higher fibre, antioxidant/(poly)phenolic and mineral contents. However, there is still scientific controversy about the relative effect of wheat species (Triticum aestivum vs T. spelta) and production methods (conventional vs organic) on the nutritional composition of wheat. The retail survey reported here showed that, the use of spelt varieties and organic production results in significantly higher (between 10 and 64%) levels of phenolics and some minerals in wheat flour. However, the relative effect of removing the outer bran and germ during milling was substantially larger; levels of antioxidant activity, and many phenolic compounds and mineral nutrients were 2–5 times higher in whole-grain than white flour. Organic flour contained higher concentrations of the undesirable metals Al and Ni (12% and 81% respectively), and spelt flour had 28% higher concentrations of the toxic metal Cd.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Wang J, Chatzidimitriou E, Wood L, Hasanalieva G, Markelou E, Iversen PO, Seal C, Baranski M, Vigar V, Ernst L, Willson A, Thapa M, Barkla BJ, Leifert C, Rempelos L

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Food Chemistry: X

Year: 2020

Volume: 6

Print publication date: 30/06/2020

Online publication date: 04/05/2020

Acceptance date: 30/04/2020

Date deposited: 19/05/2020

ISSN (electronic): 2590-1575

Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


DOI: 10.1016/j.fochx.2020.100091


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