Combining traditional dietary assessment methods with novel metabolomics techniques: Present efforts by the Food Biomarker Alliance
Journal article, 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.


Food metabolome

Dietary assessment

Food intake biomarkers


Elske M. Brouwer-Brolsma

Wageningen University and Research

Lorraine Brennan

University College Dublin

Christian A. Drevon

University of Oslo

Henk Van Kranen

Netherlands National Institute for Public Health and the Environment

Claudine Manach

Clermont Auvergne University

Lars Ove Dragsted

University of Copenhagen

Helen M. Roche

University College Dublin

Cristina Andres-Lacueva

University of Barcelona

Institute of Health Carlos III

Stephan J.L. Bakker

University of Groningen

J. Bouwman

Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO)

Francesco Capozzi

University of Bologna

Sarah De Saeger

Ghent university

Thomas E. Gundersen

Vitas Analytical Services

Marjukka Kolehmainen

University of Eastern Finland

Sabine E. Kulling

Max Rubner-Institut, Germany

Rikard Landberg

Chalmers, Biology and Biological Engineering, Food and Nutrition Science

Jakob Linseisen


Fulvio Mattivi

Istituto Agrario San Michele all'Adige

Ronald P. Mensink

University Hospital Maastricht

Cristina Scaccini

Consiglio per la Ricerca in Agricoltura e l'Analisi dell'Economia Agrari (CREA)

Thomas Skurk

Technical University of Munich

Inge Tetens

Technical University of Denmark (DTU)

Guy Vergeres

Forschungsanstalt Agroscope Changins-Wadenswil

David S. Wishart

University of Alberta

Augustin Scalbert

International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)

Edith J.M. Feskens

Wageningen University and Research

Proceedings of the Nutrition Society

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

Vol. 76 4 619-627

Subject Categories

Food Science

Environmental Health and Occupational Health

Nutrition and Dietetics





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