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Food Analytical Methods

Evaluating Potential Markers of Spoilage Foods Using a Metabolic Profiling Approach

Jianhua Cheng, Rong Gao, Haijing Li, Shengming Wu, Junjian Fang, Kunpeng Ma, Jie Yang, Xianzhong Yan, Fangting Dong

Faculty of Forestry, University of Toronto, 33 Willcocks Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5S3B3.


Food spoilage is one of the most common factors of food poisoning. In this research, we characterized the metabolic features of three spoiled foods using a nontargeted metabolic profiling strategy based on two dimensional gas chromatography time-of-flight mass spectrometry profiling method. Five time points (0, 1, 3, 5 and 7 days) during the spoilage processes of three different foods (bread, chicken egg and cucumber) were evaluated. More than 2000 chromatographic peaks were obtained for subsequent data analysis. Thirteen metabolites, including amino acids, biogenic amines and organic acids, were mined and identified as differential metabolites. The major metabolic alternations in the spoilage processes of different foods were closely related to some metabolic pathways, such as amino acid metabolism, tricarboxylic acid cycle and ammonia recycling. It showed that these potential metabolites screened using this method had good predication performance and could reflect the changing trend of the spoilage process of those three foods. This method could be used to further develop chemical sensors for food safety, and be helpful to gain further understanding on the spoilage.

Keywords: Electrochemical sensing; Electronic nose; RFID tag; Conducting composite; Food spoilage; Biogenic amine.

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