Using omics technology to characterize and quantify biomolecules for better nutrition

Maya Rajasekharan, Senior Advisor, Strategic Program Development at the Alliance of Bioversity International and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), says that food is the single biggest determinant of human health and disease over the course of one’s life, and yet a comprehensive one. Understanding the composition of what we eat is currently unknown.

What’s more, unlocking biochemical profiles and bioactive compounds in food opens up new opportunities for human health, sustainable agriculture and better nutrition.

There are over 26,000 distinct, definable biochemicals in food, but food composition databases and research are focused on only about 150 of them, so there is still a lot of “nutritional dark matter” that compounds the food we eat every day.

In the paper, Foodomics: A Data-Driven Approach to Revolutionize Nutrition and Sustainable Diets, published in May 2022, explores the potential of “Foodomics,” the application of omics-technology to characterize and quantify biomolecules to improve wellbeing.

Foodomics is the discipline of making food and nutrition through the application of advanced omics technologies like genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics.

They also outline the underpinnings and first fruits of the Periodic Table of Food Initiative, which aims to develop and use low-cost mass spectrometry kits, cloud-based analytical tools, and a public, quantitative and qualitative analysis database around the most important foods. the world.

Today, a complete set of targeted analyzes of nutrients in a food is an expensive undertaking, with costs as high as US $ 50,000 for regulatory assays. New analytical technologies can drive down cost analysis, the same way as cost of genomic analysis with advanced technologies. “

Maya Rajasekharan, Senior Advisor, Strategic Program Development, Alliance of Bioversity International, International Center for Tropical Agriculture

Lower cost foodomics tools will open up new opportunities, including the wider use of democratization technologies for the world.

“Creating the next generation of a global comprehensive food composition database will open up new research fields linking agriculture, nutrition and health,” said Rajasekharan.

Collaboration with the American Heart Association

Dr Selena Ahmed, Global Director of the Periodic Table of Food Initiatives for the American Heart Association, and lead author of the paper, said that the paper itself offers a vision for the role of foodomics as a data-driven approach to offer solutions. food system challenges.

Ahmed says the American Heart Association is collaborating with the Alliance to lead the management of PTFI, which aims to comprehensively evaluate what food is robust and standardized analytical methods.

“The AHA brings its expertise in human health to a focus on preventative lifestyle solutions by rigorous science and AHA’s expertise complements that of the Alliance of Bioversity and CIAT as a leader in agricultural research.” She says adding that the AHA and Alliance Partnership represent an innovative collaboration that breaks down traditional silos – the kind that needs to develop transformative solutions to our broken food systems.

“While the past 100 years of agricultural history have focused on yields and calories, foodomics is a focus on crop quality and food quality based on food composition.”

Source:

The Alliance of Bioversity International and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture

Journal reference:

Ahmed, S., et alGeneral Chat Chat Lounge (2022) Foodomics: A Data-Driven Approach to Revolutionize Nutrition and Sustainable Diets. Frontiers in NutritionGeneral Chat Chat Lounge doi.org/10.3389/fnut.2022.874312

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