Combining traditional dietary assessment methods with novel metabolomics techniques: present efforts by the Food Biomarker Alliance
Paper in proceedings, 2017

FFQ, food diaries and 24 h recall methods represent the most commonly used dietary assessment tools in human studies on nutrition and health, but food intake biomarkers are assumed to provide a more objective reflection of intake. Unfortunately, very few of these biomarkers are sufficiently validated. This review provides an overview of food intake biomarker research and highlights present research efforts of the Joint Programming Initiative 'A Healthy Diet for a Healthy Life' (JPI-HDHL) Food Biomarkers Alliance (FoodBAll). In order to identify novel food intake biomarkers, the focus is on new food metabolomics techniques that allow the quantification of up to thousands of metabolites simultaneously, which may be applied in intervention and observational studies. As biomarkers are often influenced by various other factors than the food under investigation, FoodBAll developed a food intake biomarker quality and validity score aiming to assist the systematic evaluation of novel biomarkers. Moreover, to evaluate the applicability of nutritional biomarkers, studies are presently also focusing on associations between food intake biomarkers and diet-related disease risk. In order to be successful in these metabolomics studies, knowledge about available electronic metabolomics resources is necessary and further developments of these resources are essential. Ultimately, present efforts in this research area aim to advance quality control of traditional dietary assessment methods, advance compliance evaluation in nutritional intervention studies, and increase the significance of observational studies by investigating associations between nutrition and health.


meat consumption


fish consumption

vegetable intake


dried blood spot


healthy humans

spectrometry-based metabolomics


Elske M. Brouwer-Brolsma

Lorraine Brennan

Christian A. Drevon

Henk van Kranen

Claudine Manach

Lars Ove Dragsted

Helen M. Roche

Cristina Andres-Lacueva

Stephan J. L. Bakker

Jildau Bouwman

Francesco Capozzi

Sarah De Saeger

Thomas E. Gundersen

Marjukka Kolehmainen

Sabine E. Kulling

Rikard Landberg

Chalmers, Biology and Biological Engineering, Food and Nutrition Science

Jakob Linseisen

Fulvio Mattivi

Ronald P. Mensink

Cristina Scaccini

Thomas Skurk

Inge Tetens

Guy Vergeres

David S. Wishart

Augustin Scalbert

Edith J. M. Feskens

Proceedings of the Nutrition Society

0029-6651 (ISSN) 1475-2719 (eISSN)

Vol. 76 4 619-627

Subject Categories

Nutrition and Dietetics