The Department of Food Science researches the relationship between food production processes, the composition of food and human health through foodomics

Foodomics is a research discipline that examines the entire set of substances present in our food (foodome). The discipline uses advanced analytical platforms to investigate the composition of the food and thus, its nutritional properties and impact on health. The new techniques also provide a detailed picture of food quality and can be used to detect food fraud and to find solutions for other challenges in food production. Research results from foodomics have a direct impact on consumers, the food industry and society.

Picture of a gas chromatography instrument
Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) instrument. The biggest workhorse in the Foodomics Laboratory for non-targeted analyses of food and bio-fluid samples. Photo: Lene Hundborg Koss.

Although foodomics is a relatively new research discipline, it is developing rapidly, and expectations are high. The hope is that foodomics will be an effective tool to develop healthy foods that are personalised to individual health challenges and prevent food-related diseases and food fraud. The research is also a key player in achieving more sustainable food production and is therefore expected to have a major impact on a circular economy in future.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Main research areas at the Foodomics Laboratory

The multidisciplinary character of foodomics requires basic research in many different fields including several areas of chemistry (organic, inorganic and analytical chemistry), biology, physics and mathematics. The Foodomics Laboratory is one of the world’s leading research groups developing, optimising and implementing new methodologies and SOPs for foodomics research.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Foodomics facilities

The Foodomics Laboratory at the Department of Food Science at the University of Copenhagen is equipped with state-of-the-art analytical instruments that allow both comprehensive and high-throughput analyses. Due to the complex molecular composition of food samples, the analytical platforms must first and foremost be unbiased towards a variety of food sample matrices and molecular classes.

 

 

 

 

 

The Foodomics Laboratory is the central analytical facility at the Department of Food Science at the University of Copenhagen and closely collaborates with all other sections at UCPH FOOD. It provides qualitative and quantitative foodomics data and helps researchers to design their studies to ensure appropriate experimental design and analysis of mega-variate foodomics datasets using advanced multivariate data analysis methods. The Foodomics Laboratory also works closely with several research groups at the Department of Plant and Environmental Science (KU-PLEN). The laboratory plays a key role in supplying analysis for various research projects at the University of Copenhagen. At PLEN this includes untargeted foodome/metabolome analysis, profiling of agro-economically important plant substances (e.g. saponins) as well as structure elucidation of new plant substances of interest.

In addition, the Foodomics Laboratory collaborates with analytical staff members at the Metabolomics Platforms section at the Copenhagen Plant Science Center (CPSC). The Foodomics Laboratory has one of the largest capacities at the University of Copenhagen for screening the foodome (e.g. plant-based food, beverages, meat and meat products) and the metabolome of biological systems such as blood, urine, muscle tissue, faeces, etc. Therefore, the lab has a central role in several intervention studies conducted together with researchers from the Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports (KU-NEXS), as well as with doctors and veterinarians at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences (KU-SUND). Studies that are related food and feed production process optimisation are generally conducted in collaboration with the Danish and international food industries, such as Arla Foods, Carlsberg, Unilever and Chr. Hansen.

Collaborations with the food industry and other related industries, including the biotech industry:

Collaborations with other universities and research institutions.                 

…as well as many other partners in Denmark and abroad.

 

Contact

Picture of Søren Balling EngelsenSøren Balling Engelsen
Professor
se@food.ku.dk

 Picture of Bekzod KhakimovBekzod Khakimov
Associate professor
bzo@food.ku.dk 

 Picture of Klavs Martin SørensenKlavs Martin Sørensen
Associate professor
kms@food.ku.dk 

 Picture of Violetta AruVioletta Aru
Tenure track assistant professor
violetta@food.ku.dk