Organic Farming Has Little, If Any, Effect On Nutritional Content Of Wheat

Organically grown wheat may have different labeling and a higher price in stores, but it contains essentially the same profile of amino acids, sugars and other metabolic substances as wheat grown with conventional farming.

That's the conclusion of a German study, which produced perhaps the most comprehensive metabolic profile of wheat from organic and conventional agriculture.

Christian Zorb and colleagues did the research, scheduled for publication in the Oct. 18 issue of the biweekly ACS Journal of Agricultural & Food Chemistry. They were careful to use an approach that avoided some of the shortcomings of past studies. "The statistical analysis of the data shows that the metabolic status of the wheat grain from organic and mineralic farming did not differ in concentrations of 44 metabolites," they report. "This result indicated no impact or a small impact of the different farming systems. In consequence, we did not detect extreme differences in metabolite composition and quality of wheat grains."

Zorb and colleagues said organic agriculture is at least an alternative to conventional agriculture, noting that it uses less fertilizer and no herbicides or pesticides, while providing the same nutritional quality.