The present report summarises a workshop convened by the UK Food Standards Agency (Agency) on 25 March 2010 to discuss the current Agency's funded research on the use of metabolomics technologies in human nutrition research. The objectives of this workshop were to review progress to date, to identify technical challenges and ways of overcoming them, and to discuss future research priorities and the application of metabolomics in public health nutrition research and surveys. Results from studies nearing completion showed that by using carefully designed dietary and sampling regimens, it is possible to identify novel biomarkers of food intake that could not have been predicted from current knowledge of food composition. These findings provide proof-of-principle that the metabolomics approach can be used to develop new putative biomarkers of dietary intake. The next steps will be to validate these putative biomarkers, to develop rapid and inexpensive assays for biomarkers of food intake of high public health relevance, and to test their utility in population cohort studies and dietary surveys.
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