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Introducing the Nutrient Density Rapid Test and Database for Enhanced Wheat Quality Analysis

What, exactly, is the Nutrient Density Rapid Test?

The Full Spectrum Molecular Analysis wheat research that HRI carried out in collaboration with Harvey and the preliminary group of supporting participants has been a wide-ranging research program that has resulted the Mass Spectral identification of literally hundreds of nutrients in wheat. The research also enabled the researchers to identify a selection of nutrients, about 180 of them that are the most significant indicators of nutrient density in wheat. We built the Nutrient Density Rapid Test around these 180 nutrients. That is, we developed a rapid Mass Spec-based test that is capable of rapidly and efficiently quantifying all 180 of these compounds in wheat samples. With this rapid test in hand, we are able to quantify the nutrient density of many wheat samples very quickly and relatively inexpensively. This practical, rapid test economically provides a solid, science-based, measurement of nutrient quality, based on measurement of 180 individual nutrients. Together, these provide a meaningful evaluation of nutrient density of specific wheat samples.

What is the Nutrient Density Scoring System?

We must acknowledge that 180 compounds is still a large number and that the results of the Nutrient Density Rapid Test are quite complex. In essence, the Nutrient Density Scoring System rolls up the quantitative results found for all 180 compounds and consolidates them into a hand-full of numbers that provide picture of the nutrient density of the crop that is readily comprehendible.

What is the Nutrient Density Database?

The Nutrient Density data collected for each sample tested by the Nutrient Density Rapid Test is recorded in the Nutrient Density Database. In addition to the Nutrient Density measurement for each of the 180 compounds included in the test, the record for each sample includes the final Nutrient Density Score, and detailed information about the agronomic management practices used in producing the crop. Also details about soil type, climactic conditions and crop variety will be included. Based on experience, the dataset will be refined, focused and expanded in relevant areas. The results for each sample will be anonymized. That is, the name of the producer is not be linked to the samples recorded in the database. All who contribute samples to the database will have long-term access to all data in the database. Where available, data regarding effectiveness of the crop lot in livestock production will be included and where available, data regarding the culinary properties, such as bread-making properties of wheat, will be recorded in the database. We anticipate that making this data available in this way will tighten the understanding regarding the relationship between agronomic practices and nutrient density and will enable significant acceleration in evolution of agronomic management practices.