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Trends in Food Science & Technology
Vol. 54, 2016, Pages: 213–215

Early detection of food pathogens and food spoilage microorganisms: Application of metabolomics

Farhana R. Pinu

The New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research Limited, Private Bag 92169, Auckland, 1142, New Zealand.



Food safety is a major issue, with a large number of people around the world suffering from illness due to the consumption of contaminated and unsafe food products. An early detection of food pathogens and spoilage microorganisms is an important step that can help to control a foodborne outbreak, thus avoiding the loss of a massive amount of food products.

Scope and approach

Metabolomics is generally a hypothesis generating tool that makes use of different analytical instruments to analyse as many metabolites as possible in a given biological sample. Metabolomics has already been successfully applied to different areas of food science. Here, I present metabolomics as a valuable tool for studying the metabolism of food pathogens and spoilage microorganisms.

Key findings and conclusions

The scientific area of metabolomics has improved tremendously over last decade. Due to the rapid development of instrumental platforms, it is now possible to analyse a wide range of metabolites present in food and produced by microorganisms. This approach has a high potential to determine biomarkers which can later be used for the development of early detection tools for food pathogens and spoilage microorganisms, thus ensuring a better management of food safety.

Keywords: Food safety; Detection tools; Metabolomics; Mass-spectrometry; Biomarkers; Metabolites.

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