Novel Mass Spectrometry-Based Applications of the 'Omic' Sciences in Food Technology and Biotechnology

Gianluca Picariello1, Gianfranco Mamone1, Francesco Addeo2 and Pasquale Ferranti1,2*

1Institute of Food Science and Technology (ISA) – CNR, Via Roma 52 A/C, IT-83100 Avellino, Italy

2Department of Food Science, University of Naples 'Federico II', Parco Gussone, IT-80055 Portici, Italy

Article history:

Received February 12, 2012
Accepted April 30, 2012

Key words:

proteomics, peptidomics, metabolomics, interactomics, mass spectrometry, food proteins and peptides, food quality, food safety, food technology


The revolution of 'omic' sciences has introduced integrated high-throughput approaches to address the understanding of the biochemical systems and of their dynamic evolution. In the field of food research, 'omics' are depicting a comprehensive view which largely overcomes the merely descriptive approaches of the early proteomic and metabolomic era. Thus, the recently born 'foodomics' is to be intended as a global perspective of knowledge about foods, which covers the assessment of their composition, the effects of (bio)technological processes for their production, their modifications over time and the impact that food consumption has on human health. Food proteomics and metabolomics, along with their derived 'omic' branches such as peptidomics, lipidomics and glycomics, are still evolving technologies capable of tackling the nature and the transformations of foods. In the development of the advanced 'omic' platforms, because of their potential to profile complex mixtures of biomolecules, mass spectrometry techniques have assumed an unquestionable role. Because proteins are central molecules in all biological systems, proteomic platforms are pivotal among the 'foodomic' tools, as the proteomes and related peptidomes provide biomolecular subsets mostly informative about the history of a food product. Similarly, food interactomics and metabonomics aim to study the dynamics that occur in foodstuff. The ultimate aim of foodomics is the production of high-quality and safe food products for improving human health and well-being. In this review we critically present the recent research outcomes in the field of food sciences that have been achieved through the contribution of the 'omic' methodologies relying on mass spectrometry.


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