Advances in Food Sciences: Metabolomics to Unravel the Complexity of Food Metabolites

A special issue of Metabolites (ISSN 2218-1989). This special issue belongs to the section "Food Metabolomics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2024 | Viewed by 141

Special Issue Editor

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Metabolism, Digestion and Reproduction, Section of Nutrition, Faculty of Medicine, Commonwealth Building, Hammersmith Campus, Imperial College London, London W12 0NN, UK
Interests: metabolic phenotyping; inflammatory bowel disease; personalized nutrition; pharmacology; toxicology
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Nutritional dark matter relates to those unknown compounds that we eat daily, and food, a member of the exposome, has crucial health implications. It is well known that nutrition-fact labels inform mainly about calories, macronutrients (fat, protein, carbohydrates), and micronutrients (vitamins, minerals). And sometimes, the names of the ingredients used are also reported on the package of the food we eat. However, there is a big gap to fill in knowing at a molecular level all the compounds we eat as what is reported is not sufficient, because food is more complex in its chemistry and biology. For instance, carbohydrates represent a big challenge to study per se. The challenge continues for those compounds that are not characterized yet and that in turn precludes their study on their possible effects on health to know which ones could be beneficial, inert, or detrimental, and whether they act on their own or in combination with other compounds to produce a biological activity.

It gets more complicated when food is cooked as the way it is cooked could produce chemical reactions that transform “raw” compounds into different ones. This gets even more complex due to inter-individual differences in response to the same compound. Furthermore, these unknown compounds could be at very low concentrations, which could imply no effect. However, it is known that some compounds (like some drugs or vitamins) can exert biological activity at low concentrations (i.e., dose), effect known as hormesis.

The chemistry of food components is complex, and complex is the effects they may have on both sides of the superorganism, the host, and its microbiome. The classical instance for this is choline contained in eggs, poultry, dairy, red meat, and seafood, whereby TMAO is produced through combinatorial metabolism between the host and its microbiota, and it has cardiovascular implications such as atherosclerosis. Therefore, knowing the dark matter in our diet and its effects on our health, dietary recommendation can be improved towards personalised nutrition.

Ergo, this Special Issue welcomes clinical and non-clinical studies using metabolomics approach to unveil new compounds from food, and if possible, their biological effects. Hyphenated mass spectrometry (MS) and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR) are the analytical platforms to be considered. Regarding MS, this Special Issue will focus on chromatography (e.g., gas chromatography (GC), liquid chromatography (LC), or ion chromatography (IC)) or capillary electrophoresis (CE) hyphenated with MS.

Systematic reviews and meta-analyses on this topic are also welcome. 

Dr. José Iván Serrano-Contreras
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Metabolites is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2700 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • foodomics
  • nutrimetabolomics
  • phytochemicals
  • food chemistry
  • food analysis
  • dark matter in diet
  • nutritional dark matter
  • nutritional hormesis
  • untargeted/targeted analysis

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
Back to TopTop