In our days, our food supply includes a huge variety of material from various sources; such material is highly processed more than ever before: different types of substances (fertilizers, pesticides, veterinary drugs, growth promoters, colorants, antioxidants, natural and artificial sweeteners and flavours, natural and synthetic vitamins, carbohydrates) are used to improve productivity and thus increase competitiveness and profit margins of the food industry enterprises. To ensure the safety and nutritional quality of our food, regulations have been established for the assessment of food quality, the assessment of nutritional intake, for traceability especially for foods and products with designation of origin and so forth. This includes the development of methods and technologies for the control of authenticity (authentication) of domestic agricultural products, the identification and/or certification of geographic origin by highlighting and improving the unique characteristics of quality products.
Regulation deals with the detection prohibited substances, residues and contaminants in food products and more strict, explicitly specifying methodological considerations to harmonise methods and ensure inter-reproducibility of results across different of laboratories and states. In addition.
Foodomics are central in the characterisation of food products and can be applied in the following areas:
- Enhancing the understanding of the relationship between diet, health and wellbeing in relation to agricultural food products and ingredients.
- Assessment of the nutritional value of local traditional food.
- The role of traditional nutrition and indigenous foods in the enhancement of the health of the population.
- The role of traditional food and native functional foods in the prevention and treatment of diseases with emphasis on chronic diseases such as obesity, especially childhood obesity and related metabolic diseases.
- Creating food products with reduced concentration in undesired food ingredients either for the whole population or food for consumers with special dietary requirements, such as allergens, gluten etc.
- Investigation of the relationship between nutrition, health and wellness: Consumer issues, socially, culturally, technologically as well as traditional aspects of food, including issues related to nutritional disorders, with the aim to develop foods and diets appropriate to meet the particular needs of special consumer groups (people with allergies, pregnant women, infants, children, elderly, etc.).
- Study of genetic variations in the metabolism of essential nutrients (Nutrigenetics), and the role of nutrients in gene expression (Nutrigenomics).
- Recording and promoting health claims of high value products with an emphasis on traditional products.