To determine changes in the grain components between historical and modern wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) cultivars, wholemeal flours from 19 wheat cultivars and 2 landraces released or introduced between 1870 and 2013 and grown over two crop years were extracted using hydroalcoholic solution and analyzed using one dimensional 1H NMR spectral profiling. Grain yield, grain volume weight (GVW), and grain protein concentration were also measured. Grain yield increased while protein concentration decreased by release year (p < 0.001). Increasing trends (p < 0.01) were observed for tryptophan, sum of the measured amino acids, chlorogenic acid, ferulic acid, vanillic acid, and sum of the measured phenolic acids. Grain yield, phenolic acids, and tryptophan were mainly associated with modern cultivars, whereas grain protein concentration and GVW were associated with historical cultivars. The findings from this study showed changes in concentration of grain components over a century of breeding that may have implications for grain quality and human health.
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