NMR Approach to the Study of Food Metabolites: Practical Aspects
1H high field NMR spectroscopy has shown to be a valuable tool for qualitative and quantitative analyses of the metabolites present in foodstuff. The identification of the compounds is one of the key-points of the analysis allowing each component of=complex mixtures to be recognized and quantified without chemical separation. The quantitative analysis of the metabolic profiling along with the application of a suitable statistical analysis has allowed food characterization in terms of geographical origin, genotype, development and farming. Here, the NMR methodology used to study foodstuffs is discussed reporting some significant applications for olive oil, sea bass, lettuce and kiwifruit. For example, in the case of kiwifruit, the change in the metabolic profile was monitored over the season allowing the kiwifruit development to be investigated. Specific temporal trends of amino acids, sugars, organic acids and other metabolites were observed.