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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015, Article ID 365794, 14 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/365794
Review Article

Towards a Universal Approach Based on Omics Technologies for the Quality Control of Food

1FEM2 Ambiente s.r.l., P.za della Scienza 2, 20126 Milan, Italy
2ZooPlantLab, Department of Biotechnology and Biosciences, University of Milano-Bicocca, P.za della Scienza 2, 20126 Milan, Italy
3BioNMR Lab, Department of Biotechnology and Biosciences, University of Milano-Bicocca, P.za della Scienza 2, 20126 Milan, Italy

Received 29 July 2015; Accepted 19 November 2015

Academic Editor: Vasilis P. Valdramidis

Copyright © 2015 Emanuele Ferri et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

In the last decades, food science has greatly developed, turning from the consideration of food as mere source of energy to a growing awareness on its importance for health and particularly in reducing the risk of diseases. Such vision led to an increasing attention towards the origin and quality of raw materials as well as their derived food products. The continuous advance in molecular biology allowed setting up efficient and universal omics tools to unequivocally identify the origin of food items and their traceability. In this review, we considered the application of a genomics approach known as DNA barcoding in characterizing the composition of foodstuffs and its traceability along the food supply chain. Moreover, metabolomics analytical strategies based on Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) and Mass Spectroscopy (MS) were discussed as they also work well in evaluating food quality. The combination of both approaches allows us to define a sort of molecular labelling of food that is easily understandable by the operators involved in the food sector: producers, distributors, and consumers. Current technologies based on digital information systems such as web platforms and smartphone apps can facilitate the adoption of such molecular labelling.