Mie A, Laursen KH, Åberg KM, Forshed J, Lindahl A, Thorup-Kristensen K, Olsson M, Knuthsen P, Larsen EH, Husted S
Anal Bioanal Chem 406 (12) 2885-2897 [2014-05-00; online 2014-03-12]
The influence of organic and conventional farming practices on the content of single nutrients in plants is disputed in the scientific literature. Here, large-scale untargeted LC-MS-based metabolomics was used to compare the composition of white cabbage from organic and conventional agriculture, measuring 1,600 compounds. Cabbage was sampled in 2 years from one conventional and two organic farming systems in a rigidly controlled long-term field trial in Denmark. Using Orthogonal Projection to Latent Structures-Discriminant Analysis (OPLS-DA), we found that the production system leaves a significant (p = 0.013) imprint in the white cabbage metabolome that is retained between production years. We externally validated this finding by predicting the production system of samples from one year using a classification model built on samples from the other year, with a correct classification in 83 % of cases. Thus, it was concluded that the investigated conventional and organic management practices have a systematic impact on the metabolome of white cabbage. This emphasizes the potential of untargeted metabolomics for authenticity testing of organic plant products.