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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BHNRC) » Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center » Food Composition and Methods Development Laboratory » Research » Research Project #426367

Research Project: Metabolite Profiling and Chemical Fingerprinting Methods for Characterization of Foods, Botanical Supplements, and Biological Materials

Location: Food Composition and Methods Development Laboratory

Project Number: 8040-52000-063-00-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: Feb 22, 2014
End Date: Feb 21, 2019

Objective 1: Develop spectral (mass, nuclear magnetic resonance, infrared, near-infrared, and ultraviolet spectrometry) and chromatographic (liquid and gas chromatography) fingerprinting methods (without identification of chemical components) for 1) rapid identification and authentication of food materials and discrimination with respect to genus, species, sub-species (cultivar), growing year and location, and post-harvest processing and 2) determination of variation of biological fluids and tissues with respect to experimental treatment. Sub-objective 1.A: Develop fingerprinting methods for foods. Sub-objective 1.B: Develop fingerprinting methods for botanical supplements. Sub-objective 1.C: Evaluate stability of fingerprints. Sub-objective 1.D: Develop fingerprinting methods for animal/human samples. Sub-objective 1.E: Develop data archival system for fingerprint data. Objective 2: Develop rapid and targeted quantitative methods based on minimal sample preparation, chromatographic separation, and mass spectral detection for analysis of nutrients and common bioactive compounds in foods and supplements. Sub-objective 2.A: Develop extract and shoot (E&S) method for fat soluble vitamins (FSVs) in vitamin supplements. Sub-objective 2.B: Develop E&S method for FSVs in foods. Sub-objective 2.C: Develop E&S method for FSVs in human plasma. Sub-objective 2.D: Expand data archival system with addition of targeted data. Objective 3: Develop metabolite-profiling methods for comprehensive, non-targeted analysis of small molecules in foods and biological materials based on ultra-high performance liquid chromatography and high resolution mass spectrometry. Sub-objective 3.A: Develop and apply metabolite profiling methods for foods. Sub-objective 3.B: Develop metabolite profiling methods for botanical supplements. Sub-objective 3.C: Apply metabolite profiling methods to pig study. Sub-objective 3.D: Expand data archival system with addition of metabolite data. Objective 4. Establish the variability of nutrient content of the same crop variety grown in different locations, under different management practices. [NP 107 C1, PS1A] Objective 5. Survey from multiple ARS field locations the nutrient and secondary metabolite content that may have health effects of important food crops (to be determined). [NP 107 C1, PS1A] Objective 6. Determine if existing genetic stock and/or field management practices can compensate for any reductions of nutrients found as a result of environment conditions (temperature, CO2 levels, water stress, etc.). [NP 107 C1, PS1A]

The Food Composition and Methods Development Lab (FCMDL) will develop new and innovative analytical methods for raw food materials, herbs, and botanical dietary supplements. The research outlined below has been developed with consideration of the advances in analytical technology and the demands for methods and food composition data in the field of human nutrition. Technological advances in instrumentation make it possible to generate vast amounts of data at higher speeds and with greater sensitivity, precision, and long-term stability than ever before. New computer technology also makes it possible to store, process, and interpret this data, locally and on the internet. This technology makes it possible to develop and apply new methods in the areas of chemical fingerprinting, rapid targeted analysis, and metabolite profiling. In addition, new technology in the field of genetics and polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based methods makes it possible to generate DNA barcodes for whole plant materials at a reasonable cost. Thus, it is now possible to generate extensive analytical data for exact plant entities. Data archiving will be initiated through a lab-based system that will later be incorporated into the modernized ARS nutrition database that is under construction.