Aarhus University Seal / Aarhus Universitets segl


Metabolomics is a discipline that aims at designating the complete set of metabolites present in a biological sample. Metabolomics was originally invented and applied in studies on plant tissues, but during the last decades the discipline has gained widely use on a variety of biological materials.

The metabolome is controlled by gene expression and thereby related to the genome. The link between the genome and the metabolome involves also the transcriptome and the proteome, and the collective study of these associations is often referred to as systems biology.

Different spectroscopic and spectrometric techniques may form basis for metabolomic studies. Key analytical techniques include nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and mass spectrometry (MS) such as liquid chromatography (LC-MS) and gas chromatography (GC-MS). In addition to bio fluids, NMR also offers possibilities for metabolomic studies on tissue and semi-solid food samples through so-called magic angle spinning techniques.

Metabolomic data are usually processed by multivariate data analysis. Through the application of multivariate data analysis, the most influencing factors on the metabolome are identified.

Metabolomics are applied in many areas of life sciences. In relation to food and nutrition, metabolomics applications are often focused on:


  • Elucidating the metabolic response to dietary interventions and specific dietary compounds by metabolomic profiling of bio fluid samples
  • Metabolomic profiling of foods to explore the health potential of these and impact of genetic and/or environmental factors on this profile
  • Metabolomic profiling of foods undergoing processing or other steps