Influence of Farming System and Forecrops of Spring Wheat on Protein Content in the Grain and the Physicochemical Properties of Unsonicated and Sonicated Gluten

Molecules. 2022 Jun 19;27(12):3926. doi: 10.3390/molecules27123926.


The potential for enhancing the spring wheat protein content by different cultivation strategies was explored. The influence of ultrasound on the surface and rheological properties of wheat-gluten was also studied. Spring wheat was cultivated over the period of 2018-2020 using two farming systems (conventional and organic) and five forecrops (sugar beet, spring barley, red clover, winter wheat, or oat). The obtained gluten was sonicated using the ultrasonic scrubber. For all organically grown wheat, the protein content was higher than for the conventional one. There was no correlation between the rheological properties of gluten and the protein content in the grain. Gluten derived from organically grown wheat was more elastic than those derived from the conventional one. Sonication enhanced the elasticity of gluten. The sonication effect was influenced by the forecrops. The most elastic gluten after sonication was found for organic barley and sugar beet. The lowest values of tan (delta) were noted for conventional wheat and conventional oat. Cultivation in the monoculture gave gluten with a smaller susceptibility to increase elasticity after sonic treatment. Sonication promoted the cross-linking of protein molecules and induced a more hydrophobic character, which was confirmed by an increment in contact angles (CAs). Most of the organically grown wheat samples showed a lower CA than the conventional ones, which indicated a less hydrophobic character. The gluten surface became rougher with the sonication, regardless of the farming system and applied forecrops. Sonication treatment of gluten proteins rearranged the intermolecular linkages, especially disulfide and hydrophobic bonds, leading to changes in their surface morphology.

Keywords: farming system; forecrop; gluten; protein; rheology; sonication; surface properties; wheat.

MeSH terms

  • Agriculture
  • Edible Grain / metabolism
  • Glutens* / chemistry
  • Hordeum* / metabolism
  • Sugars / metabolism
  • Triticum / chemistry


  • Sugars
  • Glutens

Grant support

The research was supported by the Ministry of Education and Science of Poland (funding number RKU/DS/5) as part of the statutory activities of the Department of Herbology and Plant Cultivation Techniques, University of Life Sciences in Lublin.