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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 #445346

Research Project: Foodomics: New Tools for Food Composition

Location: Methods and Application of Food Composition Laboratory

Project Number: 8040-10700-003-000-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: Feb 22, 2024
End Date: Feb 21, 2029

Objective 1: Determine the impact of genetic variation and carbon dioxide concentration on the macronutrient digestibility in carbohydrate-rich foods with increasing matrix complexity. Sub-Objective 1. Rice to wheat to beans starch/fiber profiles Sub-Objective 2. Impact of elevated CO2 and water management strategies on carbohydrate structure. Sub-Objective 3. Dark matter is a valuable source for assessing the impact of genetics and environmental conditions on the nutritional value of beans. Objective 2 Non-targeted metabolomic methods will provide the tools to understand the “dark matter” in food. Sub-objective 1: Impact of in vitro gastrointestinal digestion on stability, and bioaccessibility of “nutritional dark matter” in fruits and vegetables. Sub-Objective 2: Dark matter as dietary biomarkers for foods in controlled feeding studies Objective 3: Develop software programs that use machine language (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) approaches for rapid analysis of complex chromatographic-mass spectral data in foods and determine sources of variability. Sub-Objective 1: Expert methods for the analysis of chemical families of compounds. Sub-Objective 2: Develop a Food Secondary Metabolite Database (FSMD) Sub-Objective 3: Establish On-Line Methods & Secondary Metabolite Database (FSMD)

Dietary fiber and phytochemicals have been termed nutritional “dark matter”, classes with thousands of possible compounds and chemical structures, not generally measured directly. MAFCl will employ a multimodal approach to identify and quantify biologically relevant species in this dark matter. For carbohydrates, methods will be developed for physical characterization of dietary fiber. The possible impact of genetic and climate variables on the digestibility of carbohydrates and putative interactions between carbohydrate and phytochemical species will be investigated. For phytochemical compounds to have an impact on health they must first survive the oral, gastric, and intestinal phases of digestion. Methods will be developed for this smaller subset of compounds that allow for accurate quantification, including methods to interpolate response factors for compounds with no commercially available pure standard. In collaboration with other units in the BHNRC, MAFCL will validate in vitro results against in vivo digestion results and examine the contribution of microbial metabolism to the processing of phytochemicals. MAFCL will take a leading role in the nutritional dark matter community, establishing tools for quality control in the detection and positive identification of phytochemicals and fiber in foods. MAFCL will develop new tools for identification of dark matter, including proanthocyanidins and fiber and make them available to the metabolomic and nutrition community.