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Effect of irrigation, fertiliser type and variety on grain yield and nutritional quality of spelt wheat (Triticum spelta) grown under semi-arid conditions

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Marcin Baranski, Gultakin Hasanaliyeva, Emeritus Professor Chris SealORCiD, Dr Paul BilsborrowORCiD, Professor Carlo Leifert, Dr Leo RempelosORCiD, Dr Nikolaos Volakakis



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


Previous studies reported higher antioxidant and mineral micronutrient concentrations in organic compared to conventional wheat flour, but the reasons are poorly understood. Here we report results from a long-term, factorial field experiment designed to assess effects of variety choice, supplementary irrigation and contrasting fertilization regimes used in organic and conventional production on the nutritional quality and yield of spelt wheat grown in a semi-arid environment. Long-straw (Oberkulmer, Rubiota, ZOR) varieties had 10-40% higher grain Cu, Fe, Mn and Zn concentrations, while the modern, short straw variety Filderstolz had 15-38% higher grain antioxidant activity. Supplementary irrigation and the use of manure instead of mineral NPK as fertilizer had no substantial effect on the nutritional composition of spelt grain, but increased grain yields by ⁓150 and ⁓18% respectively. Overall, this suggests that breeding/variety selection is the most promising approach to improve the nutritional quality of spelt grain in semi-arid production environments.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Wang J, Barański M, Hasanaliyeva G, Korkut R, Kalee HA, Leifert A, Winter S, Janovska D, Willson A, Barkla B, Iversen PO, Seal C, Bilsborrow P, Leifert C, Rempelos L, Volakakis N

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Food Chemistry

Year: 2021

Volume: 358

Print publication date: 01/10/2021

Online publication date: 20/04/2021

Acceptance date: 15/04/2021

Date deposited: 29/04/2021

ISSN (print): 0308-8146

ISSN (electronic): 1873-7072

Publisher: Science Direct


DOI: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2021.129826


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