22 Journal of Food, Agriculture & Environment, Vol.16 (2), April 2018
Journal of Food, Agriculture & Environment Vol.16 (2): 22-27. 2018
Science and Technology
Meri-Rastilantie 3 B, FI-00980
Received 10 February 2018, accepted 30 March 2018.
Old and new common wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) varieties in organic zero-input:
connecting agronomic, microorganism, phytochemical and bread sensory
Paola Migliorini 1, Luisa Torri 1, Anne Whittaker 2 , Valentina Moschini 2, Stefano Benedettelli 2
and Giorgio Masoero 3*
1 University of Gastronomic Sciences, Piazza Vittorio Emanuele 9, 12060, Bra, Italy. 2 Dipartimento di Scienze Produzioni
Agroalimentari e dell’Ambiente (DISPAA), Piazzale delle Cascine, 18, 50144 Firenze, Italy. 3 Accademia di Agricoltura, Torino,
Italy. *e-mail: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
On aim to connect phytochemical traits as related with bread sensory features, Italian Old varieties and one Modern variety of common wheat (Triticum
aestivum L.) were compared in a framework taut to develop Micro Organism Consortium (MOC) under organic agriculture managements. Almost all
the agronomic traits distinguished the Modern from the Old Italian varieties: reduced plant height, root weight, yield and lodging but increased harvest,
tillering, and weeds attacks. Polyphenols in the modern variety Blasco were significantly lower than in the old varieties, Andriolo and Gentil Rosso
but addition of MOC factor raised the content. The MOC factor dramatically modified the phytochemical traits, which in turn concurred to give the
sensorial characteristics of the Old Wheat varieties Bread (OWB) to the Modern Wheat varieties Bread (MWB). A multivariate data elaboration
highlighted some relationships between the classes of secondary components and the OWB scores, judged as favourable (polyphenols, bound
flavonoids) or adverse (flavonoids, tannins, total anthocyans). Italian wheat varieties enhanced excellent bakery properties, based on the secondary
compounds variation and strengthened by MOC factor modifications.
Key words: Old wheat varieties, micro-organism consortium, phytochemicals, bread sensory.
Common wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) is amongst the leading
crops for human nutrition in most temperate regions worldwide,
and as such, is facing the challenge of being produced more
sustainably, with reduced levels of external inputs. However,
climatic change events are a major threat for wheat production
and genetic diversification of the crop stand is part of an overall
strategy to improve wheat performance based on the potential of
diversity to buffer for biotic and abiotic stresses.
The large part of the common wheat is addressed to the
production of bakery products, in particular bread.
In Europe the
median consumption of bread is 125 g/d compared to 27 g/d of
Although over the years the consumption of bread has
fallen, this food is still among the most popular, consumed and
loved. This food basically consists of complex carbohydrates, fibre
and proteins. In fact, epidemiological studies have associated the
consumption of whole grain and whole-grain products with
reduced incidence of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular
disease, diabetes and cancer 2. It is widely accepted that phenolic
acids including ferulic, vanillic, and p-coumaric acids are the
major antioxidants in wheat and significantly contribute to the
overall antioxidant properties of wheat grain. Dietary phenolics
include phenolic acids, phenolic polymers (commonly known as
tannins) and flavonoids. Phenolic acids are aromatic secondary
plant metabolites, derivative from hydroxylated benzoic and
Microorganism (MO) fertilizers are an emerging input in
sustainable agriculture. Mycorrhizal fungi in soil enter into
symbiosis with plant roots by establishing a symbiosis called
arbuscular mycorrhiza (AM). The associations crops-fungi are
widely distributed in the plant kingdom 3. Moreover, AM fungi
and several bacteria species can improve the soil structure and
water retention properties by forming and stabilizing soil
aggregates through deposition of organic compounds such as
glycoproteins or exopolysaccharides 4. The function now
recognized for this symbiosis is that the plant improves its mineral
nutrition, recording a positive effect on its growth, and giving in
return sugars to the fungus. Moreover, the plant appears to be
more resistant to biotic and abiotic stresses, increases the
tolerance to lack of water or presence of pollutants and leads to
a reduction of sensitivity to common pathogens 3. It is evident
that any agronomic mean suitable to promote the accumulation
of secondary metabolites with antioxidant capacity in wheat could
be beneficial in nutritional value of bread and grain products in
general. The symbiosis of a mycorrizhal factor with food plants
resulted in a modification of the putative secondary constituents
leading to an antioxidant fortification and increased nutritional
and functional value in several plants and fruits 5. This
technology, as recently testified in low input corn by Sabia et
al. 6, does not raise any issue by environmentalists because they
are based on natural strains, and are addressed to a sustainable
modern and economic agriculture.
As Hildermann et al. 7 suggested, in order to incorporate
environmentally friendly methods into the farming system used
for the production of whole grain bread, in recent times, there
is a renewed attention in old varieties of wheat and in particular
to their yield productivity and to baking quality under organic
Journal of Food, Agriculture & Environment, Vol.16 (2), April 2018 23
management. In Italy there is a growing interest in assessing the
agronomic characteristics of old, modern and mixture of varieties
and landrace of bread wheat (Triticum aestivum spp.) and their
adaptability to organic farming in hilly and mountainous areas
also for their potential functional properties 8, 9.
A preliminary sensorial study of Torri et al. 10 from this experiment
have shown that some old varieties have a satisfactory attitude to
bread and the sensory properties of bread were dramatically
modified by the Micro Organism Consortium (MOC) factor
associated to the plant.
Numerous purposes were at the basis of this research: 1) to
compare agronomic and some phytochemical traits related with
secondary components, between old varieties and one modern
variety of common wheat (Triticum aestivum); 2) to evaluate the
effect of the MOC factor on the modern variety; 3) to ascertain the
versus and the force of the covariation of the phytochemical traits
into the set of the bread sensory variables in the framework of Old
Wheat varieties Bread (OWB) compared to the Modern Wheat
varieties Bread (MWB).
Materials and Methods
The experimental site (44°56’N, 7°40’E, altitude 253 m a.s.l.)
was located in a park. The organic field was previously a perennial
grass meadow, that has just been broken after several decades.
Experimental silty soil had optimum pH value (7.45) and very high
content of organic matter (3.13%) and total nitrogen (2.1 ‰), also
soil was rich in nutrients (CEC 9.90 meq 100 g-1) with an excellent
C/N ratio (8.76). The available phosphorus (15.75 mg/kg) and
exchangeable potassium (0.15 meq 100 g-1) were a bit low without
posing any risk of leaching. The total lime (1.08 g/kg) is very poor.
The conductivity is low (1.28 mS cm-1).
The wheat varieties were I- Inallettabile (old), G- Gentil Rosso
(old), A- Andriolo (old), S- Sieve (old), B- Blasco (modern) and
Bm- Blasco with MOC (modern). The sowing date was the 21st of
November. The plots of modern variety Blasco (CO.NA.SE,
Conselice, Ravenna, Italy) were sown with 230 kg/ha of seed at a
depth of 2-3 cm, while for old varieties, only a few hundred grams
available and 450 seeds m-2 sown by hand in plots of 100 m2 and
then buried. The Bm with MOC is a modern Blasco variety
inoculated with Micosat F © (CCS-Aosta s.r.l., Italy:
www.micosat.it) a bio-fertilizer composed of three AM species
(Glomus caledonium GM24, Glomus intraradices GG31, Glomus
coronatum GU53, in form of spores, hyphae and root fragments),
and three PGPR species (Pseudomonas fluorescens PA28, Pseudo-
monas borealis PA29, Bacillus subtilis BA41) providing a total
concentration of 106 g-1 distributed into the seeding machine as
powder at a dose of 400 g per 100 kg of seed. No fertilization and
pest and weed control were done with external input. Noticeable
was a presence of excessive weeds in the Micosat-treated plots
(+228% vs. Blasco untreated). The harvest took place July 7 at full
ripening of the grain (moisture content about 13%).
The following data were collected on the crops: plant height
(cm), lodging (%), tillering index (number of stems m-2, number of
plants m-2), harvest index (grain yield total plant weight -1), capacity
to control weeds (g DM ha-1 of weeds), sensitivity to virus (score
0-1-2), root weight (g m-2), grain yield (t ha-1). The C and N content
in the dried samples was measured using the Flash Elemental
Analyser 1112 NC (Thermo Fisher Scientific; Waltham,
Massachusetts, USA) according to the manufacturers
instructions. In order to evaluate the functional content, the
extraction of soluble (free) and insoluble (bound) phenolic
compounds was performed according to the method of Dinelli
et al. 11, 12. Polyphenol content in both the free and bound fractions
was measured using the spectrophotometric Folin-Ciocalteu
method (Lambda 25 Spectrophotometer, Perkin-Elmer Corporation,
USA) with gallic acid as the reference standard. Similarly, as Adom
et al. 13 reported, the flavonoid content was determined using a
colorimetric method with catechin as the reference standard. The
free and bound polyphenol and flavonoid contents, respectively,
were summed to provide the total content. The total anthocyanin
content was extracted and measured 14. Total carotenoid content
was estimated from the yellow pigment content, extracted and
The experimental design for agronomic and phytochemical
variables, featured three blocks with three randomized
repetitions. Data were submitted to ANOVA analysis of the six
varieties (I, G, A, S, B, Bm), by using a mixed model with random
block, and providing a multiple Duncan mean comparison 16. The
MOC effect was ascertained according the Bm vs. B contrast,
while the Epoch factor considered the Old varieties vs. the Blasco
wheat plots. In the bread sensory framework, the Bread Type
factor compared the Old Wheat varieties Bread (OWB) to the
Modern Wheat varieties Bread (MWB). The phytochemical data
of the flours were connected indirectly to the sensory properties
of the bread using a chemometric partial least square (PLS)
regression 17. The relevance of the phytochemical vs. the sensory
results was assessed by considering the sign and the amount of
the standardized coefficients in the respective equations. A
distance matrix between the six varieties was calculated by a PLS
method 17 and a series of multiple regression analyses highlighted
the significant discriminant variables 16.
Almost all the traits (Table 1) except the sensitivity to virus,
distinguished the Modern from the Old wheat varieties: reduced
plant height, lodging, root weight and yield but increased harvest
index, tillering indexes and weeds biomass (+151%).
The most discriminant trait of the MOC factor in Bm compared
with B, was the excessive weed proliferation in the Micosat F-
treated plots (+219%) that may be responsible of a reduced yield
(-10%, not significant) together a slight more lodging. Among the
groups several distinctions enriched the variability, the most
implicated variables being the plant height, the lodging and the
tillering index. As yield features Inallettabile
(3.86 t ha
(3.42) outperformed the Gentil Rosso (2.85) and Andriolo varieties
(2.53) together the modern Blasco. The Blasco, over the shortness,
was distinguished from the Gentil Rosso because of its harvest
index and from the Sieve because of its unlodging capacity (0%
vs. 82%). In the framework of the old varieties the Sieve is
distinguished from Gentil Rosso because its shortness, and from
the Inallettabile because its lower unlodging performance, and
from Andriolo because of a reduced tillering index.
The total polyphenol content (Table 2) varied significantly
among the old varieties. This variation was attributable to
differences in the free as well as the larger bound polyphenol
contents in the respective varieties. Polyphenol content in the
modern variety Blasco was significantly lower than the old
varieties, Andriolo and Gentil Rosso. Interestingly, the addition
24 Journal of Food, Agriculture & Environment, Vol.16 (2), April 2018
of MOC factor to Blasco raised the polyphenol content to a level
comparable to that of Andriolo and Gentil Rosso (4.01). The
total flavonoid content comprised approximately 30% of the total
polyphenol content in the wheat varieties investigated. By
difference, the remaining 70% of the total polyphenol content
is likely comprised of phenolic acids. Interestingly, the addition
of MOC factor to Blasco had the effect of raising the total
flavonoid content to a level higher than that observed for the old
varieties. Of the flavonoid classes present, MOC factor was not
shown to improve the anthocyanin component and it was also
shown to reduce yellow pigment.
The standardised partial least square coefficients of the sensory
scores of the bread (Table 3, right side) fitted to OFB (pointed 2)
and MB (pointed 1) are ranked in decreasing order; the adjacent
column reports the significant difference between the two types
of bread, as relative percentage. Six sensory variables featured
significantly the OFB in positive sense: elasticity and crumbliness
(texture), pore quantity (appearance), sweet (taste), yeasty and
grain (odour). On the opposite side five traits characterised in
negative sense the MB type: crust darkness (appearance), sour
(taste), toasted and nutty (odour), hardness (texture). The whole
PLS relationship for the sensory evaluation of the bread attained
an R-square level of 0.66.
The left side of Table 3 collimates the OFB/MB factor to the
grain phytochemical analyses: a high coefficient tends to OFB
type, while a negative coefficient tends to MB bread type. The
total polyphenols (free and bound) and the bound flavonoids
featured the higher ranking, but without a difference significant
between OFB and MB; as opposite, the modern bread type was
related with total hydrolysable tannins, free flavonoids, total
anthocyans and carbon content. All these last constituents had
determined significant modifications between the two types of
bread. The whole PLS relationships for phytochemical attained
an R-square level of 0.59.
It is noteworthy that modern breeding programs for genetic
improvement have been primarily focused on yield and on the
improvement of disease and pest resistance rather than
nutritional and functional characteristics. Modern varieties are
characterized by genetic uniformity and adaptation to
conventional agriculture typically using high-energy inputs in
terms of fertilizers, herbicides, insecticides and fungicides.
In a comparable zero-fertilization experience, as Dinelli et al.
analysed, the yield of the modern varieties (1.5 t ha-1) was inferior
to the old varieties (1.99 t ha-1), a result which was also observed
in this trial (2.7 vs. 3.2 respectively). In a field trial experiment
comparing 30 wheat genotype in Piedmont, Blasco variety
featured between 8.06 and 6.01 t ha-1 in conventional farming
with late winter 140 kg N ha-1 19.
Thus, the lower yield of Blasco in our plots (2.90 and 2.61 t ha-1
in Bm and B, respectively), could be accounted by the applied
zero fertilization and to a great intrinsic need of mineral N. This is
confirmed by Migliorini et al. 8, that in 2011-2013 field trials in
similar pedo-climatic environments with zero-fertilization but in
different organic farms, the old varieties, landrace and their non-
modern mixture yielded 2.05 t ha-1 and the modern 3.05 t ha-1 as
mean of Bolero, Blasco, Arabia, Bologna while Blasco 2.14 t ha-1.
In a variety of ecosystems, interactions between soil microbiota
and weedy plants can strongly affect population and community
dynamics of these plants. Many weeds are strongly mycorrhizal.
The relationship between AMF diversity and host species
diversity/productivity has been examined in natural tropical
ecosystems, as indicated in the studies of Husband et al.20.
However, weed-soil microbe interactions are not well characterized
in field-crop agroecosystems. In our trial weeds may have
benefitted by the symbiosis with MOC.
As regards to phytochemicals, in old wheat varieties Dinelli et
al. 18 showed a high level of polyphenols (on avg. +21%) and
Table 2. Phytochemical profiles of the wheat grain varieties A. Linear Model Results and LSMeans.
A Wheat varieties: I=Inallettabile; G=Gentil Rosso; S=Sieve; A=Andriolo; B=Blasco; Bm =Blasco MOC fertilized with Micosat F factor; R2 = r-square of the linear model; CV=coefficient of variation %;
SED = standard error.
MOC factor Epoch factor
CV SED Mean I G S
B Bm Old Modern
N % 0.41 10 0.24 2.49 2.36bc 2.47bc 2.29c
2.59ab 2.49b 2.47 2.54
C % 0.57 2 0.70 42.4 41.6c 42.3b 42.2bc
43.5a 42.2b 42.21b 42.90a
C/N - 0.37 10 1.69 17.2 17.7ab 17.3b 18.7a
16.8bc 17.0bc 17.3 16.9
Tot. Polyphenol mg/g dry weight 0.81 7 0.26 3.76 3.74c 4.24a 3.02d
3.55c 4.01ab 3.75 3.78
Free polyphenol mg/g dry weight 0.69 11 0.14 1.28 1.36ab 1.44a 1.03c
1.18b 1.25b 1.30a 1.22b
Bound polyphenol mg/g dry weight 0.74 9 0.23 2.49 2.38b 2.79a 1.98c
2.36b 2.75a 2.45 2.56
Total flavonoids mg/g dry weight 0.73 7 0.07 1.13 1.05c 1.16b 1.03c
1.15b 1.30a 1.08b 1.23a
Free flavonoids mg/g dry weight 0.57 13 0.05 0.42 0.38c 0.41bc 0.39bc
0.49a 0.43b 0.39bc 0.47a
Bound flavonoids mg/g dry weight 0.73 9 0.06 0.72 0.66c 0.74b 0.64c
0.66c 0.86a 0.69bc 0.77a
Tot. Anthocians mg/g dry weight 0.85 9 0.002 0.024 0.018d 0.027a 0.019d
0.028a 0.022c 0.023b 0.026a
Yellow pigment JJGU\PDVV 0.69 11 0.001 0.011 0.010b 0.010b 0.009c
0.011b 0.009c 0.0109a 0.0102b
/MOC factor Epoch factor
Variables Unit R
CV (%) SE Mean I G
A B Bm Old Modern
Plant height cm 0.84 12 13 106 121b 134a
128ab 63c 70c 125.4a 67.0b
Lodging % 0.66 64 23.0 35.7 23.8c 61.1b
44.2b 0.0c 2.2bc 52.9a 1.1b
0.14 100 0.56 0.56 0.4ab 1.0a
0.4ab 0.5ab 0.5ab 0.41 0.55
Tillering Index Score
0.34 39 2.03 5.22 3.6b 5.6a
5.6a 6.0a 7.1a 4.53b 6.58a
Harvest Index HI
0.63 10 0.04 0.39 0.32d 0.33d
0.41b 0.45a 0.44a 0.36b 0.45a
Root Weight g*plant
0.17 34 10.7 31.85 36.9a 37.1a
33.6ab 28.2b 24.7b 34.5a 26.5b
Weeds g DM*m
0.26 149 66.7 44.7 17.0b 10.4b
73.5ab 35.6b 113a 29.7b 74.7a
0.25 28 0.86 3.03 3.86a 2.85bc
2.53c 2.90bc 2.61c 3.2a 2.7b
Table 1. Agronomic features of the wheat varieties. Linear model results, LSMeans of the varieties and estimates of the
contrast for MOC and Epoch factors.
MOC = Micro Organism Consortium. (a > b > c; p<0.05). A Wheat varieties: I=Inallettabile; G =Gentil Rosso; S =Sieve; A =Andriolo; B =Blasco; Bm=Blasco with MOC factor; R2 =r-square of the
linear model; CV = coefficient of variation %; SE =standard error; B Sensitivity: 0 = no attack, 2=high attack. B Sensitivity score: 0=no attack, 2=high attack. C Tillering index (number of stems m-
2 number of plants m-2). DHarvest index (grain yield total plant weight-1 ).
Journal of Food, Agriculture & Environment, Vol.16 (2), April 2018 25
flavonoids, together with higher amounts of resistant starch
(+200%), gluten and lipids (+30%). Also Leoncini et al. 21 observed
an increase in total polyphenols (+21%) and flavonoids (+69%) in
the same old varieties studied in this paper but with a different
modern control compared with modern genotype. In Migliorini et
al. 8 only old varieties were assessed for phytochemicals and
significant differences were observed between years and varieties,
confirming the dependency of biosynthesis and accumulation of
phenolic compounds on both variety and environmental
conditions (abiotic and biotic stress), showing that Gentil Rosso
had a much higher amount of total, free and bound polyphenols.
Otherwise, these trend is not a constant as verified in the present
work. Shewry and Hey 22 reported that total phenolic compounds
may achieve values of 2.71-3.16 mg/g dry weight for bread wheat
cultivated in Poland, values in range with the present data (3.02-
4.24 mg/g dry weight). Heimler et al. 23 have shown that
atmospheric conditions play a big role in free polyphenols quantity
and in the - uncorrelated - antiradical activity and high temperatures
can cause a drop in polyphenol content. The presence of weeds
may force the crops to react with secondary metabolites
expression 24. Thus, the results observed in the present study
could be indirectly accounted for the weed increase promoted by
the MOC factor, but the MO itself have to be considered as the
primary factor for the antioxidant compound enhancement, as
proved in several species by Raiola et al. 5. Other results 11, 12
showed that mean values of total phenolic compounds and total
flavonoid content in old wheat varieties were similar as in modern
genotypes; however, the HPLCESI-TOF-MS analysis highlighted
remarkable differences between modern and old cultivars.
The interpretation of the mass spectra
allowed the identification of 70 phenolic
compounds, including coumarins,
phenolic acids, anthocyanins,
stilbenes and lignans. The free extracts
of old wheat varieties showed the
presence of a mean number of phenolic
compounds more than double than in
modern genotypes; a similar trend was
observed also for the bound phenolic
fraction. Moreover, the phytochemical
profiles showed the presence of unique
phenolic compounds in both free and
bound fractions of some of the
investigated wheat genotypes. In the
present work a high degree of
phytochemical variability exhibited: in
reference to the lower side of the distance
matrix (Table 4) the list of most
discriminant variables, enumerated 30
cases where only C did not appear, when
most represented are the total anthocyans
(11 counts), N content (4 counts) and
yellow pigment bound polyphenols and
bound flavonoids (3 counts). In Dinelli et
al. 9 lignin, a class of phytochemicals with
proved health benefit effects,
discriminated the new and the old varieties
of wheat: in the old ones a double
concentration with three exclusive lignin compounds (arctigenin,
hinokinin, and syringaresinol) and higher number of glycosidic
forms were observed. The study of the phytochemical contents
and profiles of different wheat varieties could be a promising way
to study the effects of MO in wheat, especially mycorrhiza.
Regarding to bread sensory aspects 10 (Table 2), it was enhanced
that the Old Wheat varieties and Bm Bread differentiated from the
Modern wheat variety bread because of significant increases in
flavour intensity and grain odour, pore quantity appearance,
elasticity, crumbliness texture and salty taste. Conversely, a
decrease was ascertained in adhesiveness texture, in nutty and
toasted odour and in sweet taste. In this paper, the total
polyphenols, free polyphenols, bound polyphenols and bound
Table 3. Relationships between the phytochemical composition of the grain and the
sensory characteristic of the bread by a PLS fitting of the Old Wheat varieties
Bread (OWB), with the Blasco not MOC contrasted to all the other as Modern
Wheat Bread (MWB). Values of the standardised PLS coefficients (st_PLS)
and significant deviations of the OWB to MWB.
ADelta % (LSMean TBT / LSMean ABT), reported when P<0.05 or a when P<0.15.
Grain Phytochemical st_PLS
OWB/MWB Bread sensory st_PLS
Elasticity 0.234 110%
Total_Polyphenols 0.157 7%
Pore_quantity 0.162 36%
Free_Polyphenols 0.152 9%
Sweet 0.145 28%
Bound_Polyphenols 0.123 6%
Yeasty 0.112 33%
Bound_Flavonoids 0.105 9%
Grain 0.109 31%
Crumbliness 0.099 22%
Flavor intensity 0.017
C_N -0.005 Crumb_darkness 0.013
Yellow_Pigment -0.016 Adhesiveness -0.011
N -0.031 Salty -0.034
Total_Flavonoids -0.062 Crust_darkness -0.037 -16%
Total_Hydrolisable_Tannins -0.201 -23% Sour -0.086 -28%
Free_Flavonoids -0.265 -18% Toasted -0.134 -30%
Total_Anthocians -0.286 -22% Nutty -0.236 -50%
C -0.301 -3% Hardness -0.303 -54%
Old Wheat varieties Bread (OWB) < > Modern Wheat varieties Bread (MWB)
Table 4. Matrix of the between-group distances according
to the chemical analyses of eleven constituents
and polyphenols analyses (R2 values; above the
diagonal) with indication of the chief
constituentsA accounting of each contrast
(below the diagonal).
1-VR =r-square in crossvalidation mode.A 1-Total polyphenols; 2-Free polyphenols; 3-Bound
polyphenols; 4-Total flavonoids; 5-Free Flavonoids; 6-Bound Flavonoids; 7-Total Anthocians;
8-Yellow pigment; 9-N; 10-C; B Wheat varieties: I=Inallettabile; G=Gentil Rosso; S=Sieve;
A=Andriolo; B=Blasco; Bm =Blasco Myc with Micosat F Mycorrhizal and microbial factor.
I S A
B 0 0.82
0.89 0.86 0.76
Bm 7,9 0
0.80 0.91 0.78
G 2,6 7,4
0.89 0.84 0.65
I 7,3 3,6,7
0 0.90 0.77
S 7,3 1,7
1,8, 0 0.94
A 7 9,5
7,9 8,7 0
26 Journal of Food, Agriculture & Environment, Vol.16 (2), April 2018
flavonoids were linked with the most positive features of a OWB
and, by contraposition, the free flavonoids, tannins, total
anthocyans and carbon contents appeared to be linked with the
negative traits. Chlopicka et al. 25 reported that the addition of
15% and 30% of pseudocereals (buckwheat, amaranth and quinoa)
high in phenolic content to the wheat flour was effective in
enhancing antioxidant activity, and sensory properties of bread
added by buckwheat showed an increase of acceptable quality
attributes such as taste, colour or odour.
As to mycorrhizal, several studies of Beauregard et al. 26, based
on 368 records in field and greenhouse, have been conducted to
confirm AM symbiosis positive influence on major edible plants
resulting an average yield increase of 26%. In early stage trial
gas exchange parameters of the maize leaves were positively
affected by inoculation of AM, leading to mass increment 4. In the
present trial, the MOC effect did not result in a significant yield
increase but the high weed biomass in Bm plots may be responsible
of the no quantitative effect. Otherwise a series of strong
qualitative effects involved the secondary compounds. The
Micosat F is a mycorrhizal-microbial consortium already affirmed
in agriculture practices and
recently discovered as an in vivo
acidifier of the maize stem
Some studies focused on the so-
called Mycorrhiza Helper Bacteria (MHB) or Plant Growth
Promoting Rhizobacteria (PGPR) distinguishing between the
helper bacteria, which assist mycorrhiza formation, and those that
interact positively with the functioning of the symbiosis. Berta et
al. 22 by first highlighted the separated modifications promoted
by the Pseudomonad bacteria and/or by the AM fungi on the
maize grain quality. The bacterial activity sustained a higher level
in degradability of the starch; on the contrary the AM strongly
raised the insoluble zeins (prolamine) content, by 30%, and both,
bacteria and AM increased the Fe and Zn levels by some 18-40%.
This point concerning the complexity of the protein metabolism
may be the basis to understand the properties in OWB and MWB.
In tomato plants inoculated with AM, β-carotene, lycopene and
luteine in fruits were increased by 11, 10 and 7 %, respectively 29.
The nutraceutical value of tomatoes, e.g. the phytochemical
content of the fruits, has been increased with the establishment
of beneficial MOC symbioses
out of the production of mutagenic
compounds, since tomato extracts induced no in vitro genotoxic
effects. Also Raiola et al. 5 observed in many important
Mediterranean vegetables several improvement of functional
compounds, but especially in durum wheat as regard to total
carotenoids (+42%) and phenols (+230%).
The work has confirmed the morpho-biological separation of some
old Italian wheat varieties from a modern one, while enhancing
very good yield properties and especially distinctive features that
lead to a distinguished Old Wheat variety Bread. The raising in
both polyphenol and flavonoid content in wheat grain was also
achieved by an adjuvant based on mycorrhizal and microorganism
treatment of the modern Blasco variety to levels comparable to
those of Gentil Rosso, the variety containing the highest contents.
On the contrary, a significant decrease in total anthocyanins was
noted after MOC treatment and in the old varieties. As to the final
sensory quality of the OW bread, the total flavonoids seem to
enhance the flavour intensity, the total polyphenols the pore
quantity, the free polyphenols the grain odour, the yellow pigment
the crumbliness texture and salty taste, while a high total
anthocyans content was favourable to the OWB, because
repressor of the negative nutty and toasted odour and of the
It was concluded that organic farming of old wheat varieties,
or modern with MOC adjuvant, could promote healthy local and
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