Protocatechuic acid levels discriminate between organic and conventional wheat from Denmark

Yannick Weesepoel, Samuel Heenan, Rita Boerrigter-Eenling, Tjerk Venderink, Marco Blokland, Saskia Van Ruth*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Organic wheat retails at higher market prices than the conventionally grown counterparts. In view of fair competition and sustainable consumer confidence, the organic nature of organic wheat needs to be assured. Amongst other controls this requires analytical tests based on discriminating traits. In this paper, phenolic acids were examined by liquid chromatography analysis as biomarkers for discriminating between the two groups by means of a controlled grown full factorial design Danish wheat sample set. By combining baseline and retention-time correction pre-treatments and principal component analysis, discrimination between organic and conventional produce was found to be expressed in the first principal component (93%), whilst the second principal component accounted for the production year (4%). Upon examination of the loadings plot, a single chromatographic peak was found to account for a large part in the discrimination between the two wheat production systems. This was further underpinned by statistically significant differences found in concentrations between the organic and conventional production systems of this phenolic acid (ANOVA, P

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)360-363
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Cereals
  • Food adulteration
  • Food fraud
  • Liquid chromatography
  • Phenolic acids
  • Wheat


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