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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Wooster, Ohio » Corn, Soybean and Wheat Quality Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #305911

Title: Functional and nutritional characteristics of soft wheat grown in no-till and conventional cropping systems

item PARK, EUN YOUNG - Washington State University
item Baik, Byung-Kee
item MACHADO, STEPHEN - Oregon State University
item Gollany, Hero
item FUERST, E - Washington State University

Submitted to: Cereal Chemistry
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/24/2014
Publication Date: 5/1/2015
Publication URL:
Citation: Park, E., Baik, B.-K., Machado, S., Gollany, H.T., Fuerst, E.P. 2015. Functional and nutritional characteristics of soft wheat grown in no-till and conventional cropping systems. Cereal Chemistry. 92:332-338.

Interpretive Summary: No-till farming refers to the absence of any tillage operation in growing crops and involves a one-pass drilling, sowing and fertilizing operation, which minimally disturbs the soil. The advantages of no-till farming over tillage farming include an improvement of the soil’s physical, chemical and biological properties, and increased water infiltration, and reduced soil erosion. No-till farming is, therefore, considered a sustainable and environmentally-friendly cropping system, and is widely practiced in growing wheat. There is also an increasing consumers’ preference in and demand for no-till crops. Soil properties, including water availability, soil organic matter content, and physical and biological conditions altered by no-till farming practices, are expected to affect wheat grain characteristics related to nutritional and functional properties determining food processing and product quality, as well as the growth and yield of wheat crops. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of no-till cropping systems on the nutritional and functional properties of soft wheat. Evaluation of soft winter wheat grain produced over a two-year period from three long-term replicated no-till vs. conventional tillage studies indicates that no-till farming generally produces wheat grain of greater test weight, kernel diameter and kernel weight, and softer kernels compared to conventional tillage farming. Wheat grain grown under no-till farming was also lower in protein content, ash content, total phenolic content and antioxidant capacity than wheat produced under conventional tillage farming, while no apparent differences in milling properties were observed. The reduced grain hardness, protein content, protein strength and solvent retention capacity of wheat grain resulting from the practice of no-till farming are all desirable for production of the majority of soft wheat products, indicating that no-till farming is not only environmentally friendly and sustainable, but also delivers the benefits of improved end-use quality of soft wheat.

Technical Abstract: The effects of no-till vs. conventional farming practices were evaluated on soft wheat functional and nutritional characteristics, including kernel physical properties, whole wheat composition, antioxidant activity and end-product quality. Soft white winter wheat cv. ORCF 102 was evaluated over a two-year period from three long-term replicated no-till vs. conventional tillage studies in Oregon. Wheat from the no-till cropping systems generally had greater test weight, kernel diameter and kernel weight and had softer kernels compared to wheat from the conventional tillage systems. Compared to the conventional systems, no-till whole wheat flour had lower protein and SDS sedimentation volume. Ash content as well as most minerals measured (calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, and zinc), except for manganese and phosphorus, were generally slightly lower in no-till than in conventional wheat. Wheat from the no-till cropping systems generally had slightly lower total phenolic content and total antioxidant capacity. Milling properties, including flour yield, break flour yield and mill score, were not affected by tillage systems. Refined flour from no-till systems had lower protein, SDS sedimentation volume, and lactic acid and sucrose solvent retention capacities compared to flour from conventional tillage. No-till wheat generally had greater sugar snap cookie diameter than conventionally tilled wheat. In conclusion, no-till wheat generally had slightly reduced nutritional properties (protein, ash, most minerals, and total antioxidant content) compared to wheat from conventionally tilled systems, and had equivalent or superior functional properties for soft wheat end-use products.