metabolomics (4)

6201677901?profile=RESIZE_400x Organic milk attracts a premium over conventionally produced milk. Reading University and other consortium partners have completed a European Horizon 2020 project using metabolomics and NMR technology on 1,900 samples of organic milk collected on farms and at retail in the UK and Finland, to develop a test to authenticate organic milk.  

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3925480647?profile=RESIZE_710xThe assessment of durum wheat geographical origin is an important and emerging challenge, due to the added value that a claim of origin could provide to the raw material itself, and subsequently to the final products (i.e. pasta). As an alternative to the use of stable isotopes and trace elements to determine geographic origin, Italian researchers used non-targeted high resolution mass spectrometry (LC-HRMS) to select chemical markers related to the geographical origin of durum wheat. Durum wheat samples from the 2016 wheat harvest were used to set up the model and to select the markers, while samples from the 2018 harvest were used for model and metabolomic markers validation. Different geographies across different continents were used in the sample set, so that it is now possible to discriminate between Italian, European and Non-European durum wheat samples.

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The assessment of egg freshness is still challenging, due to the lack of robust chemical markers.  Freshness is a crucial parameter for ensuring the production of safe and high‐quality foods. Italian researchers have selected 31 marker compounds based on a metabolomic approach related to the freshness of egg products used as ingredients for compound foods. They were selected from samples of egg products, which were extracted after delivery to the production plant, and after 24 and 48 hours at room temperature. The extracts were analysed by ultrahigh‐pressure liquid chromatography–high‐resolution mass spectrometry (UHPLC‐HRMS), and different chemometric models were created to select those compounds that changed during the storage period, and hence are related to freshness. Furthermore, this UHPLC‐HRMS metabolomic approach allows for the detection of a larger set of metabolites clearly related to possible microbial growth over time, which is a relevant point for also ensuring food safety.

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In this review by Spanish researchers, an updated, comprehensive and balanced overview of the recent studies (2015-2018) that have applied omics-based technologies for the authentication of food is given. The omics-based molecular tools discussed in the review include genomics, proteomics and metabolomics-based methods.

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