Foodomics is a discipline in the field of food and nutrition that applies and integrates comprehensive high-throughput -omics technologies to improve human health, well-being, and nutritional knowledge. Foodomics encompasses the global food domain, including fields such as nutrigenomics. Studies in foodomics may focus on areas such as the mechanisms of different bioactive food components in the body, the quantification of dietary biomarkers to identify different health states, the assessment of food quality and safety, or examination of the body's biological response to different nutritional patterns.
The Food Metabolome
The food metabolome is the part of the human metabolome directly derived from the digestion and biotransformation of foods and their constituents. With over 25,000 compounds known in various foods, the food metabolome is extremely complex, with a composition varying widely according to the diet. This variability constitutes a unique and extremely rich source of information on the human diet, which can be used for pusposes such as accurate monitoring of dietary exposure and identification of foods that influence disease risks.
Dietary biomarkers are specific measurements within the body that accurately reflect the intake of a food constituent or food. These markers are measured in biofluids such as blood and urine, and include natural food constituents such as vitamins and fatty acids, in addition to certain food additives like iodine in milk or food contaminants like polychlorinated biphenyls in fatty fish. Dietary biomarkers can be used measure nutritional status and food intake, to find associations between diet and disease outcomes, and to monitor dietary changes in populations.
WP1 - Discovery of novel biomarkers of food intake - lead by Dr. Lorraine Brennan
The objectives of WP1 (Discovery of novel biomarkers of food intake) will define optimal strategies for discovery of biomarkers of food intake. This will be achieved by including method development for new matrices, conducting well-defined and standardized short-term intervention studies, and analyses of stored samples and data from interventions and cross-sectional studies. The combination of these approaches will lead to significant impact in an important field.
WP2 - Nutritional status biomarkers and sampling - lead by Dr. Christian A Drevon
WP2 is focused on Nutritional status biomarkers and sampling. The ambition is to get a comprehensive and representative view of validated and potentially new biomarkers for nutrient status/intake in different matrices.
WP3 - Food intake biomarker classification and validation - lead by Dr. Lars Ove Dragsted
WP3 will focus on Food intake biomarker classification and validation. There is currently no general validation system for food intake or nutritional intake biomarkers. Thus, a better guidance for biomarker validation is pertinent, and better methods for combining biomarkers to improve intake assessments are warranted.
The validation criteria will include standard analytical quality control along with criteria related to biomarker kinetics (dose response, time-response) metabolic and other host factor effects, food matrices and specificity for the actual foods. WP3 will provide a new classification system for intake biomarkers and provide guidelines for intake biomarker validation.
WP4 - Tools and Resources - lead by Dr. Claudine Manach
WP4 (Tools and Resources) will provide a unique platform for sharing knowledge and resources within and beyond FOODBALL with the scientific community. In particular
1) appropriate databases on food compounds and their metabolites;
2) software tools for annotation of food metabolites;
3) chemical libraries, are required for reliable and fast annotation of metabolites derived from foods (the food metabolome) and identification of new dietary biomarkers.
- A comprehensive food metabolome database will be developed
- A new chemical library for the food metabolome will be built
- Information on all dietary biomarkers measured in population studies will be collected from the scientific literature in a dietary biomarker database
- A public web portal will be developed to provide public access to these new tools and hyperlinks to additional resources or information.
WP5 - Bridging dietary biomarkers to health pathways - lead by Dr. Helen Roche
WP5 (Bridging dietary biomarkers to health pathways) aims to (1) relate dietary biomarkers to disease risk, taking a pathway- and network-based bioinformatics approach building on existing transcriptomic and metabolomics data; (2) explore how new dietary biomarkers identified within WP1, WP2, and WP3 modulate disease risk using pathway- and network-analyses.
WP6 - Policy package - lead by Dr. Hans Verhagen
This WP6 (Policy package) will establish a link to EFSA, as prof. Hans Verhagen (WP leader) is a long-standing member of the EFSA panel on Nutrition, Dietetic products and Allergies (NDA as of 2006). This will provide valuable input for the national authorities regarding biomarkers for evaluation of nutrition- or health-claims of foods. WP6 will also provide policy papers on reference levels regarding nutrients, nonnutrients, contaminants and food additives, and describe the policy need and relevance of uncertainty analyses.
WP7 - Coordinative package - Coordinator: Wageningen University
Coordinator involves development and effectuation of a Consortium Agreement, guiding and guarding the specific deliverables, advising project partners in reaching the goals, and organising regular plenary meetings and teleconferences with project members. The 2nd management task consists of supporting interaction with stakeholders and dissemination of the results: communication and reporting to the JPI Steering Committee, installing and liaising with the FOODBALL Scientific Advisory Board, setting up- and maintaining a website, and organising the final FOODBALL Symposium.