Special Issue "Foodomics: New Approaches to Evaluate Food Quality"

A special issue of Foods (ISSN 2304-8158). This special issue belongs to the section "Food Quality and Safety".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Domenico Montesano
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Pharmacy, University Federico II of Naples, Via D. Montesano 49, 80131 Naples, Italy
Interests: food safety and food quality; metabolomics; food chemistry; chromatography; mass-spectrometry; nutraceuticals; novel foods; methods of extraction
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Gabriele Rocchetti
E-Mail Website
Co-Guest Editor
Department for Sustainable Food Process, Universita Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan, Italy
Interests: milk metabolomics; cheese; shelf-life; traceability; milk quality; foodomics
Prof. Dr. Alessandra Bordoni
E-Mail Website
Co-Guest Editor
Department of Agro-Food Sciences and Technologies (DISTAL), University of Bologna, piazza Goidanich, 60, 47521 Cesena (FC), Italy
Interests: human nutrition; nutritional biochemistry; fatty acids; in vitro digestion; bioavailability; nutrigenomics; bioactive compounds
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Francesco Capozzi
E-Mail Website
Co-Guest Editor
Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna - Department of Agricultural and Food Sciences
Interests: foodomics; biomarkers; metabolomics; NMR spectroscopy; food structure; in vitro digestion modelling; food kinetics
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The 6th edition of the International Conference on FoodOmics will be held in Cesena (Italy) on 14–16 October 2020. In recent years, food science has aimed to develop new food products, improving different process technologies and focusing the attention on the changes of sensory quality during the shelf-life of foods. Further, both food chemistry and food microbiology have taken great advantage of the developments of new analytical platforms, such as those based on “foodomics”. Foodomics was defined in 2009 as “a discipline that studies the Food and Nutrition domains through the application and integration of advanced -omics technologies to improve consumer's well-being, health, and knowledge”. In the foodomics field, researchers working in different aspects of food science, such as food chemistry, analytical chemistry, biochemistry, food microbiology, and food technology, can finally work together in order to reach the main and common objective, i.e., the optimization of new functional foods and/or nutraceuticals to improve human health. Foodomics, as a new emerging research tool, has opened up new frontiers and possibilities for scientists to characterize and simultaneously determine the comprehensive profile of the food metabolome. Such knowledge could be very helpful in providing a comprehensive understanding on the effects of different technological processes (such as cooking and/or fermentation) and probably to predict the sensory, nutritional, functionality, and nutraceutical quality of the final product. The study of foodomics came under the spotlight after it was introduced at the first international conference in 2009 in Cesena, Italy. Since 2009, many experts have been meeting regularly to find new approaches and possibilities in the areas of food science and technology and human nutrition.

This year, the Conference focuses on four different topics:

  • Food safety, an important issue where omics technologies coupled with statistical and bioinformatics tools can offer solutions. On the one hand, the use of multi-omics technologies will improve the understanding of allergenicity, on the other it will enable the identification of food allergens. In addition, in the last several years a new approach has revolutionized traditional toxicology.  At the core of this new strategy, termed systems toxicology, are the “omics” techniques;
  • Enginomics, a cutting-edge science that harmonizes food processing and human digestion in a holistic way using new technologies for modelling and simulating the main human metabolic processes.  Exploring human digestive processes using big data and food engineering support will contribute to an improved production of food for the future.
  • Exposomics, the new science that analyses the human response to exposure to diet/lifestyle/environmental factors through innovative omics technologies. The use of omics analyses provides high-throughput exposomics datasets that can help develop an unbiased understanding of the pathophysiology of chronic diseases in the context of industrialization, drastic lifestyle changes, urbanization, and pollution.
  • Feedomics, an emerging field in animal research that, like foodomics, integrates a range of omics technologies.  This approach can help in elucidating the complex interactions among feed, environment, genetics, physiology, and the symbiotic microbiota, with the final aim of improving overall animal welfare and health, productivity, and product quality.
This Special Issue welcomes original research and reviews of literature not only by researchers that attend the meeting but also by researchers that feel they are part of the foodomics community.

Keywords

  • Targeted/untargeted metabolomics
  • Proteomics
  • Lipidomics
  • Volatile compounds
  • Shelf-life
  • Sensorial characteristics
  • Spectroscopic analysis

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Reduction in the Brining Time in Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese Production Minimally Affects Proteolysis, with No Effect on Sensory Properties
Foods 2021, 10(4), 770; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10040770 - 03 Apr 2021
Viewed by 263
Abstract
Brine soaking is one of the most important steps in the production of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, since it determines the amount of salt in the final product. Reduction in salt in Parmigiano Reggiano cheese might be important for improving its nutritional profile, but [...] Read more.
Brine soaking is one of the most important steps in the production of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, since it determines the amount of salt in the final product. Reduction in salt in Parmigiano Reggiano cheese might be important for improving its nutritional profile, but it could affect the manufacturing processes by altering proteolysis and consequently the product quality. In this study, for the first time, salt reduction was explored at the industrial level on real cheese samples manufactured in a local dairy. In particular, 20 wheels were produced with conventional (18 days, 10 wheels) and shorter (12 days, 10 wheels) brining steps. In every group, wheels were studied at two different ripening times, 15 and 30 months. A shorter brining time resulted in an average 12% decrease in salt content. A full characterization of free amino acids and peptides was performed by LC-MS on all samples. Free amino acids and peptides, as expected, increased with ripening, due to proteolysis, with samples having low salt content showing a slightly faster increase when compared to standard ones, hinting to a slightly accelerated proteolytic process. Nonetheless, low-salt and conventional cheeses shared similar sensory profiles at both ripening times. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Foodomics: New Approaches to Evaluate Food Quality)
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Open AccessArticle
The Effect of Balsamic Vinegar Dressing on Protein and Carbohydrate Digestibility is Dependent on the Food Matrix
Foods 2021, 10(2), 411; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10020411 - 12 Feb 2021
Viewed by 501
Abstract
The balsamic vinegar of Modena (BVM), a food specialty under the European Protected Geographical Indication system, is made from grape must blended with wine vinegar exclusively in the Italian province of Modena or Reggio Emilia. Vinegar is associated to an improved digestive function [...] Read more.
The balsamic vinegar of Modena (BVM), a food specialty under the European Protected Geographical Indication system, is made from grape must blended with wine vinegar exclusively in the Italian province of Modena or Reggio Emilia. Vinegar is associated to an improved digestive function and glycemic response to carbohydrate-rich meals, appetite stimulation, and reduction of hyperlipidemia and obesity. Although many of these effects are attributed to the high concentration of bioactive molecules, the modulation of digestive enzymes activity could have a role. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of BVM on the digestibility and component release of three foods that are often seasoned with this dressing but have different composition: Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, Bresaola (cured meat), and boiled potatoes. BVM modulated the protein digestion of protein-rich foods (cheese and cured meat) in a matrix-dependent manner, and the BVM effect was mainly related to the inhibition of pepsin in the gastric phase. In the starch-rich food (boiled potatoes), the most impressive effect of BVM was the lower release of anomeric and total carbohydrates, which was consistent with the observed reduction of pancreatic amylase activity. The present investigation shed a new light on the impact of BVM on the digestion process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Foodomics: New Approaches to Evaluate Food Quality)
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Open AccessArticle
Exploring the Effect of Pulsed Electric Fields on the Technological Properties of Chicken Meat
Foods 2021, 10(2), 241; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10020241 - 25 Jan 2021
Viewed by 502
Abstract
Pulsed electric field (PEF) is a non-thermal technology which is increasingly drawing the interest of the meat industry. This study aimed at evaluating the effect of PEF on the main technological properties of chicken meat, by investigating the role of the most relevant [...] Read more.
Pulsed electric field (PEF) is a non-thermal technology which is increasingly drawing the interest of the meat industry. This study aimed at evaluating the effect of PEF on the main technological properties of chicken meat, by investigating the role of the most relevant process parameters such as the number of pulses (150 vs. 300 and 450 vs. 600) and the electric field strength (0.60 vs. 1.20 kV/cm). Results indicated that PEF does not exert any effect on meat pH and just slightly affects lightness and yellowness. Low-intensity PEF treatments improved the water holding capacity of chicken meat by significantly (p < 0.001) reducing drip loss up to 28.5% during 4 days of refrigerated storage, without damaging proteins’ integrity and functionality. Moreover, from the analysis of the process parameters, it has been possible to highlight that increasing the number of pulses is more effective in reducing meat drip loss rather than doubling the electric field strengths. From an industrial point of view, the results of this explorative study suggested the potential of PEF to reduce the undesired liquid inside the package, thus improving consumer acceptance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Foodomics: New Approaches to Evaluate Food Quality)
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Open AccessArticle
Comparative Study of Early- and Mid-Ripening Peach (Prunus persica L.) Varieties: Biological Activity, Macro-, and Micro- Nutrient Profile
Foods 2021, 10(1), 164; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10010164 - 14 Jan 2021
Viewed by 624
Abstract
Exploring the chemical composition and biological activity of different fruit varieties is essential for the valorization of their health claims. The current study focuses on a detailed comparative analysis of three early- and two mid-ripening peach varieties: “Filina” (peach), “July Lady” (peach), “Laskava” [...] Read more.
Exploring the chemical composition and biological activity of different fruit varieties is essential for the valorization of their health claims. The current study focuses on a detailed comparative analysis of three early- and two mid-ripening peach varieties: “Filina” (peach), “July Lady” (peach), “Laskava” (peach), “Gergana” (nectarine), and “Ufo 4” (flat peach). They were characterized in terms of essential nutrients such as carbohydrates (sugars and dietary fibers), amino acid content, and lipids as well as mineral content, fat-soluble vitamins, carotenoids, and chlorophyll. Polyphenolic compounds and the related antioxidant activity were also assessed. The methanolic extract of the peel seems to be richer in the studied biologically active substances compared to the fleshy part of the fruit. Anthocyanins were most abundant in “Gergana” and “July Lady” extracts (6624.8 ± 404.9 and 7133.6 ± 388.8 µg cyanidin-3-glucoside/100 g fw, resp.). The total phenol content of the samples varied from 34.11 ± 0.54 to 157.97 ± 0.67 mg gallic acid equivalents (GAE)/100 g fw. “Filina” and “July Lady” varieties possessed the highest antioxidant activity. Overall, the results of this study confirm that the studied peach varieties have satisfactory nutritional value and are potential sources of biologically active substances. Each variety represents an individual palette of nutrients that should be considered separately from the other. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Foodomics: New Approaches to Evaluate Food Quality)
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Open AccessArticle
Rapid Profiling of the Volatilome of Cooked Meat by PTR-ToF-MS: Characterization of Chicken, Turkey, Pork, Veal and Beef Meat
Foods 2020, 9(12), 1776; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9121776 - 30 Nov 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 634
Abstract
This study aimed to compare the volatile organic compound (VOC) profiles of cooked meat from different species. Four burgers were prepared and cooked from each of 100 meat samples obtained from 100 animals of five species/categories (chicken, turkey, pork, veal and beef) sourced [...] Read more.
This study aimed to compare the volatile organic compound (VOC) profiles of cooked meat from different species. Four burgers were prepared and cooked from each of 100 meat samples obtained from 100 animals of five species/categories (chicken, turkey, pork, veal and beef) sourced from five supermarkets and five local butchers. Two burgers were cooked in a water bath and two were grilled. Direct proton-transfer-reaction time-of-flight mass-spectrometry (PTR-ToF-MS) analysis of the sample headspace yielded 129 mass peaks, 64 of which were tentatively identified. The results showed that turkey and chicken had the largest and the smallest total concentrations of all VOCs, respectively. Of the mammalian meats, veal and beef had greater total VOC concentrations than pork. The proportions of the amounts of all the individual VOCs differed significantly according to species. Additionally, 14 of 17 independent latent explanatory factors (LEFs) identified by multivariate analysis exhibited significant differences between meat species/categories, and therefore helped to characterize them. PTR-ToF-MS has been used for the first time for the rapid and non-invasive profiling of cooked meat of different species/categories. Knowledge of specific VOC profiles paves new avenues for research aimed at characterizing species through sensory description, at authenticating species or at identifying abnormalities or fraud. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Foodomics: New Approaches to Evaluate Food Quality)
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Open AccessArticle
Impact of a Pitanga Leaf Extract to Prevent Lipid Oxidation Processes during Shelf Life of Packaged Pork Burgers: An Untargeted Metabolomic Approach
Foods 2020, 9(11), 1668; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9111668 - 15 Nov 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 510
Abstract
In this work, the comprehensive metabolomic changes in pork burgers treated with different antioxidants, namely, (a) a control without antioxidants, (b) 200 mg/kg butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), and (c) 250 mg/kg pitanga leaf extract (PLE, from Eugenia uniflora L.), each one packaged under modified [...] Read more.
In this work, the comprehensive metabolomic changes in pork burgers treated with different antioxidants, namely, (a) a control without antioxidants, (b) 200 mg/kg butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), and (c) 250 mg/kg pitanga leaf extract (PLE, from Eugenia uniflora L.), each one packaged under modified atmosphere (80% O2 and 20% CO2) for 18 days storage at 2 ± 1 °C, were deeply studied. In particular, untargeted metabolomics was used to evaluate the impact of the antioxidant extracts on meat quality. The PLE phytochemical profile revealed a wide variety of antioxidant compounds, such as polyphenols, alkaloids, and terpenoids. Multivariate statistics (both unsupervised and supervised) allowed to observe marked differences in BHT and PLE burgers metabolomic profiles during storage. Most of the differences could be attributed to hexanoylcarnitine, 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal, 6-hydroxypentadecanedioic acid, 9S,11S,15S,20-tetrahydroxy-5Z,13E-prostadienoic acid (20-hydroxy-PGF2a), sativic acid, followed by glycerophospholipids. In addition, significant correlations (p < 0.01) were observed between thiobarbituric acid reactive substances and metabolites related to lipid oxidation processes. Therefore, the approach used showed a clear modulation of lipid oxidation, likely promoted by the plant leaf extract, thus confirming the ability of PLE to delay lipid oxidative phenomena during storage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Foodomics: New Approaches to Evaluate Food Quality)
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Open AccessArticle
UHPLC–MS/MS-Based Nontargeted Metabolomics Analysis Reveals Biomarkers Related to the Freshness of Chilled Chicken
Foods 2020, 9(9), 1326; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9091326 - 20 Sep 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 901
Abstract
To identify metabolic biomarkers related to the freshness of chilled chicken, ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry (UHPLC–MS/MS) was used to obtain profiles of the metabolites present in chilled chicken stored for different lengths of time. Random forest regression analysis and stepwise multiple linear regression [...] Read more.
To identify metabolic biomarkers related to the freshness of chilled chicken, ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry (UHPLC–MS/MS) was used to obtain profiles of the metabolites present in chilled chicken stored for different lengths of time. Random forest regression analysis and stepwise multiple linear regression were used to identify key metabolic biomarkers related to the freshness of chilled chicken. A total of 265 differential metabolites were identified during storage of chilled chicken. Of these various metabolites, 37 were selected as potential biomarkers by random forest regression analysis. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis indicated that the biomarkers identified using random forest regression analysis showed a strong correlation with the freshness of chilled chicken. Subsequently, stepwise multiple linear regression analysis based on the biomarkers identified by using random forest regression analysis identified indole-3-carboxaldehyde, uridine monophosphate, s-phenylmercapturic acid, gluconic acid, tyramine, and Serylphenylalanine as key metabolic biomarkers. In conclusion, our study characterized the metabolic profiles of chilled chicken stored for different lengths of time and identified six key metabolic biomarkers related to the freshness of chilled chicken. These findings can contribute to a better understanding of the changes in the metabolic profiles of chilled chicken during storage and provide a basis for the further development of novel detection methods for the freshness of chilled chicken. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Foodomics: New Approaches to Evaluate Food Quality)
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Open AccessArticle
Non-Destructive Quality Assessment of Tomato Paste by Using Portable Mid-Infrared Spectroscopy and Multivariate Analysis
Foods 2020, 9(9), 1300; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9091300 - 15 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 812
Abstract
This research aims to provide simultaneous predictions of tomato paste’s multiple quality traits without any sample preparation by using a field-deployable portable infrared spectrometer. A total of 1843 tomato paste samples were supplied by four different leading tomato processors in California, USA, over [...] Read more.
This research aims to provide simultaneous predictions of tomato paste’s multiple quality traits without any sample preparation by using a field-deployable portable infrared spectrometer. A total of 1843 tomato paste samples were supplied by four different leading tomato processors in California, USA, over the tomato seasons of 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2019. The reference levels of quality traits including, natural tomato soluble solids (NTSS), pH, Bostwick consistency, titratable acidity (TA), serum viscosity, lycopene, glucose, fructose, ascorbic acid, and citric acid were determined by official methods. A portable FT-IR spectrometer with a triple-reflection diamond ATR sampling system was used to directly collect mid-infrared spectra. The calibration and external validation models were developed by using partial least square regression (PLSR). The evaluation of models was conducted on a randomly selected external validation set. A high correlation (RCV = 0.85–0.99) between the reference values and FT-IR predicted values was observed from PLSR models. The standard errors of prediction were low (SEP = 0.04–35.11), and good predictive performances (RPD = 1.8–7.3) were achieved. Proposed FT-IR technology can be ideal for routine in-plant assessment of the tomato paste quality that would provide the tomato processors with accurate results in shorter time and lower cost. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Foodomics: New Approaches to Evaluate Food Quality)
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Open AccessArticle
Chemical Characterization and Bioactive Properties of Different Extracts from Fibigia clypeata, an Unexplored Plant Food
Foods 2020, 9(6), 705; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9060705 - 01 Jun 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 844
Abstract
Fibigia clypeata (L.) Medik. is a poorly studied plant species belonging to the Brassicaceae family, and usually used as cress in the salads. The current investigation aimed at assessing the antioxidant potential and inhibitory activity of ethyl acetate, methanol, and aqueous extracts of [...] Read more.
Fibigia clypeata (L.) Medik. is a poorly studied plant species belonging to the Brassicaceae family, and usually used as cress in the salads. The current investigation aimed at assessing the antioxidant potential and inhibitory activity of ethyl acetate, methanol, and aqueous extracts of F. clypeata against key enzymes targeted in the management of type II diabetes (α-amylase and α-glucosidase), Alzheimer’s disease (acetylcholinesterase and butyrylcholinesterase), and skin hyperpigmentation (tyrosinase). Cytotoxicity of the extracts was also determined using normal VERO and cancer FaDu and SCC-25 cell lines. Besides, LC-MS was employed to investigate the detailed phytochemical profiles of the extracts. The methanol extract showed potent enzyme inhibitory activity (4.87 mg galantamine equivalent/g, 3.52 mg galantamine equivalent/g, 126.80 mg kojic acid equivalent/g, and 24.68 mg acarbose equivalent/g, for acetylcholinesterase, butyrylcholinesterase, tyrosinase, and α-glucosidase, respectively) and antioxidant potential (96.52, 109.10, 154.02, and 104.85 mg trolox equivalent/g, for DPPH, ABTS, CUPRAC, and FRAP assays, respectively). Interestingly, caffeic acid-O-hexoside derivative, caffeyl alcohol O-glucopyranoside, and ferulic acid derivative were identified in all extracts. F. clypeata extracts showed no cytotoxicity towards VERO cell line and a weak cytotoxic potential against FaDu and SCC-25 cell lines. Interesting scientific evidence gathered from the present study support further investigation on F. clypeata in the view of designing and developing a novel therapeutic agent for the management of Alzheimer’s disease, type II diabetes, skin hyperpigmentation problems, as well as cancer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Foodomics: New Approaches to Evaluate Food Quality)
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Open AccessArticle
Determination and Comparison of Physical Meat Quality Parameters of Percidae and Salmonidae in Aquaculture
Foods 2020, 9(4), 388; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9040388 - 27 Mar 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 880
Abstract
Although aquaculture has been the fastest growing food sector for decades, there are no standardized parameters for most of the fish species regarding physical meat quality. Therefore, this study provides for the first time an overview of the physical meat characteristics of the [...] Read more.
Although aquaculture has been the fastest growing food sector for decades, there are no standardized parameters for most of the fish species regarding physical meat quality. Therefore, this study provides for the first time an overview of the physical meat characteristics of the most important fish species of the German Baltic Sea coast. Traditional farmed salmonids (rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) and maraena whitefish (Coregonus maraena) as well as two percids (European perch, Perca fluviatilis and pikeperch, Sander lucioperca) were utilized for this comparison. The results demonstrate that the meat of the salmonids is very analogous. However, the post mortem degradation process starts faster in trout meat. In contrast, the meat quality characteristics of the percids are relatively different. The meat of pikeperch has comparatively low shear strength with a high water-holding capacity resulting in high meat tenderness. The opposite situation is present in European perch. The results indicate that it is not possible to establish the overall quality characteristics for fish or production form, as there is a high range of variability. Consequently, it is particularly important that meat quality characteristics are developed for important aquaculture species for further improvement through changes in husbandry conditions when necessary. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Foodomics: New Approaches to Evaluate Food Quality)
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