European Food Research and Technology

, Volume 245, Issue 1, pp 73–82 | Cite as

Phenolic profile and antioxidant capacity of landraces, old and modern Tunisian durum wheat

  • Fatma BoukidEmail author
  • Margherita Dall’Asta
  • Letizia Bresciani
  • Pedro Mena
  • Daniele Del Rio
  • Luca Calani
  • Rhouma Sayar
  • Yong Weon Seo
  • Ines Yacoubi
  • Mondher MejriEmail author
Original Paper


In the last decades, the consumption of whole wheat has increased because consumers’ awareness has increased toward healthy food. However, breeders’ focus was always attributed to the major components of wheat, but less attention was paid to micronutrients. The aim of this study was to provide new insights on the influence of breeding on total polyphenol content (TPC), phenolic profile, and total antioxidant capacity (TAC) using a set of Tunisian durum wheat landraces, old and modern varieties. Ultra-liquid chromatography multi-stage mass spectrometry (UHPLC–MSn) allowed the identification of eight phenolic acids, which were found in the bound form, while only p-coumaric acid was found in the free form. A significant genotype effect on the TPC (bound, free and total), TAC, and phenolic acid profile was observed. Regarding breeding effect, TPC concentrations were in the order modern > landraces > old. Principal component analysis (PCA) confirmed that the phenolic profile of the studied varieties was mainly conditioned by their genotypic characteristics, and no trend was observed as a function of breeding history. Likewise, clustering analysis highlighted an important genetic diversity, suggesting that the modern variety ‘‘Om Rabia’’ possesses the most interesting phenolic profile. These findings might be useful to breed genetically different and phenolic-rich new varieties.


Durum wheat Breeding Polyphenols Phenolic acids FRAP 



This work was supported by L’Oreal-Unesco for women in Science program—(Pan Arab Fellowship 2013), and by the Tunisian Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research (Grant No. TK/08/2012) in the frame of joint research program between Tunisia (Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research) and Korea (National Research Foundation).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interest.

Compliance with ethics requirements

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fatma Boukid
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Margherita Dall’Asta
    • 3
  • Letizia Bresciani
    • 3
  • Pedro Mena
    • 3
  • Daniele Del Rio
    • 3
  • Luca Calani
    • 2
  • Rhouma Sayar
    • 4
  • Yong Weon Seo
    • 5
  • Ines Yacoubi
    • 1
  • Mondher Mejri
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Plant protection and improvement laboratory, Center of biotechnology of SfaxUniversity of SfaxSfaxTunisia
  2. 2.Department of Food and DrugUniversity of ParmaParmaItaly
  3. 3.The Laboratory of Phytochemicals in Physiology, Human Nutrition Unit, Department of Food and DrugUniversity of ParmaParmaItaly
  4. 4.Tunisian Higher School of Agriculture of Kef BoulifaKefTunisia
  5. 5.Division of Biotechnology, College of Life Sciences and BiotechnologyKorea UniversitySeoulRepublic of Korea

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