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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BHNRC) » Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center » Methods and Application of Food Composition Laboratory » Research » Research Project #442710

Research Project: Metabolomic Methods for Plant and Animal Specimens

Location: Methods and Application of Food Composition Laboratory

Project Number: 8040-52000-066-079-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 1, 2022
End Date: Aug 31, 2023

Plant tissues consist of large numbers of complex molecules that are important to human health and can be used to identify their origin. Composition and identification (or authentication) are essential in the field of botanical supplements where adulteration is a major problem. This project will develop metabolomic methods for biological materials that can be used to identify and authenticate whole materials, identify, and quantify the small molecule content of the materials, support nutritional and clinical research, and develop databases for plant and animal materials.

ARS will develop metabolomic methods based on mass spectrometry (MS) and proton nuclear magnetic resonance (1H-NMR) using both direct analysis (no prior separation) and prior separation by ultra-high performance liquid chromatography (UHPLC). Spectral fingerprints acquired by direct analysis with MS and 1H-NMR and chromatographic fingerprints acquired by UHPLC/MS and UHPLC/1H-NMR will be used with multivariate analysis to identify and authenticate whole plant, botanical, and animal materials. Metabolomes of the materials will be identified and quantified. Specific chemical compounds (biomarkers) distinctive to each material will be identified. Analytical data acquired with both direct and chromatographic analysis will be used to construct databases to characterize the biological materials and serve as a base for future data mining.