An experimental study of the effect of MgO content in the MgB2 powder used for ex situ made composite wires was carried out. Two single-core MgB2/Fe/Cu wires were made using commercial MgB2 powders from Alfa Aesar containing different fraction of MgO. Critical temperature and critical currents of as-deformed and heat-treated wires were measured. The differences between the wires are discussed and correlated with the MgO content. It was found that by increasing the amount of MgO, the inter-grain connectivity worsens, but well distributed and low size MgO particles improve flux pinning.