Identification of nutritional biomarkers through highly sensitive and chemoselective metabolomics

Food Chem. 2023 Nov 1:425:136481. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2023.136481. Epub 2023 Jun 1.


The importance of a healthy diet for humans is known for decades. The elucidation of key molecules responsible for the beneficial and adverse dietary effects is slowly developing as the tools are missing. Carbonyl-containing metabolites are a common bioproducts through conversion of diet by the microbiome. In here, we have utilized our recently developed mass spectrometric methodology based on chemoselective conjugation of carbonyl-metabolites. The method has been applied for urine sample analysis from a dietary (poly)phenol intervention study (N = 78 individuals) for the first time. We have identified a series of carbonyl-metabolites of dietary origin and the chemical structure was validated for 30 metabolites. Our sensitive analysis led to the discovery of four unknown dietary markers with high sensitivity and selectivity (AUC > 0.91). Our chemical metabolomics method has been successfully applied for large-scale analysis and provides the basis for targeted metabolomics to identify unknown nutritional and disease-related biomarkers.

Keywords: Carbonyl metabolites; Chemical biology; Chemical metabolomics; Dietary intervention; Nutritional biomarkers.

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers
  • Diet*
  • Humans
  • Mass Spectrometry / methods
  • Metabolomics* / methods
  • Urinalysis


  • Biomarkers