Comparative Compositions of Grain of Bread Wheat, Emmer and Spelt Grown with Different Levels of Nitrogen Fertilisation

A. Lovegrove, J. Dunn, T.K. Pellny, J. Hood, A.J. Burridge, A.H.P. America, L. Gilissen, R. Timmer, Z.A.M. Proos-Huijsmans, J.P. van Straaten, D. Jonkers, J.L. Ward, F. Brouns, P.R. Shewry*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Web of Science)


Five cultivars of bread wheat and spelt and three of emmer were grown in replicate randomised field trials on two sites for two years with 100 and 200 kg nitrogen fertiliser per hectare, reflecting low input and intensive farming systems. Wholemeal flours were analysed for components that are suggested to contribute to a healthy diet. The ranges of all components overlapped between the three cereal types, reflecting the effects of both genotype and environment. Nevertheless, statistically significant differences in the contents of some components were observed. Notably, emmer and spelt had higher contents of protein, iron, zinc, magnesium, choline and glycine betaine, but also of asparagine (the precursor of acrylamide) and raffinose. By contrast, bread wheat had higher contents of the two major types of fibre, arabinoxylan (AX) and beta-glucan, than emmer and a higher AX content than spelt. Although such differences in composition may be suggested to result in effects on metabolic parameters and health when studied in isolation, the final effects will depend on the quantity consumed and the composition of the overall diet.
Original languageEnglish
Article number843
Number of pages17
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2023


  • bread wheat
  • emmer
  • spelt
  • fibre
  • metabolites
  • minerals
  • phenolics
  • fertilisation
  • health benefits

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