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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(8), 1217;

Characterization and Discrimination of Ancient Grains: A Metabolomics Approach

Department of Food Science, University of Parma, Parco Area delle Scienze 95/A, 43124 Parma, Italy
Department of Food Analysis and Nutrition, Faculty of Food and Biochemical Technology, University of Chemistry and Technology, Prague, Technicka 3, 166 28 Prague 6, Czech Republic
Open Fields Srl, Strada Consortile 2, Collecchio, 43044 Parma, Italy
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Miguel Herrero, Carolina Simó and Virginia Garcia-Cañas
Received: 30 May 2016 / Revised: 20 July 2016 / Accepted: 22 July 2016 / Published: 27 July 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Foodomics Approaches in Food Science)
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Hulled, or ancient, wheats were the earliest domesticated wheats by mankind and the ancestors of current wheats. Their cultivation drastically decreased during the 1960s; however, the increasing demand for a healthy and equilibrated diet led to rediscovering these grains. Our aim was to use a non-targeted metabolomic approach to discriminate and characterize similarities and differences between ancient Triticum varieties. For this purpose, 77 hulled wheat samples from three different varieties were collected: Garfagnana T. turgidum var. dicoccum L. (emmer), ID331 T. monococcum L. (einkorn) and Rouquin T. spelta L. (spelt). The ultra high performance liquid chromatography coupled to high resolution tandem mass spectrometry (UHPLC-QTOF) metabolomics approach highlighted a pronounced sample clustering according to the wheat variety, with an excellent predictability (Q2), for all the models built. Fifteen metabolites were tentatively identified based on accurate masses, isotopic pattern, and product ion spectra. Among these, alkylresorcinols (ARs) were found to be significantly higher in spelt and emmer, showing different homologue composition. Furthermore, phosphatidylcholines (PC) and lysophosphatidylcholines (lysoPC) levels were higher in einkorn variety. The results obtained in this study confirmed the importance of ARs as markers to distinguish between Triticum species and revealed their values as cultivar markers, being not affected by the environmental influences. View Full-Text
Keywords: small grains; non-targeted metabolomics; phenolic lipid compounds; lipidomics; foodomics small grains; non-targeted metabolomics; phenolic lipid compounds; lipidomics; foodomics

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Righetti, L.; Rubert, J.; Galaverna, G.; Folloni, S.; Ranieri, R.; Stranska-Zachariasova, M.; Hajslova, J.; Dall’Asta, C. Characterization and Discrimination of Ancient Grains: A Metabolomics Approach. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17, 1217.

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