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Titolo: Metabolomic investigation of food matrices by ¹H NMR spectroscopy
Data di pubblicazione: 29-mar-2012
Abstract: The present Ph.D. work shows some applications on the NMR-based metabolomic approach in food science. The investigated food matrices are largely different, from a manufactured product that undergoes only physical treatments (bottarga), to a manufactured product where biochemical transformations take place (Fiore Sardo cheese), and, finally, a raw food (Argentina sphyraena). All of these food matrices were not chosen by chance, but they represent an important piece of economy of the island of Sardinia, or might be further valorized, gaining more importance in the near future. Indeed, bottarga and Fiore Sardo are typical products exported all over the world, while Argentina sphyraena is a fish a low economic interest, finding no appreciation, at the moment, on the market. The results of this PhD study have contributed with new insights and deeper understanding of the potential perspective of the combined NMR/multivariate methods approach in food science, showing the great versatility of NMR spectroscopy and the strong synergetic relation between NMR and chemometrics. NMR revealed its extraordinary potential, when applied to natural samples and products, while chemometric analytical technique proved to be an essential tool to get information on the properties of interest (e.g., geographical origin for bottarga) based on the knowledge of other properties easily obtained (i.e. NMR spectra). The investigation performed on bottarga demonstrated that a NMR-based metabolomics technique can be a powerful tool for the detection of novel biomarkers and establishing quality control parameters for bottarga. The work presented in this study evidenced the effectiveness of metabolite fingerprinting as a tool to distinguish samples according both to the geographical origin of fish and the manufacturing process. The results relative to the Fiore Sardo showed the potential of the combination of NMR spectroscopy and chemometrics as a promising partnership for detailed cheese analysis, providing knowledge that can facilitate better monitoring of the food production chain and create new opportunities for targeted strategies for processing. Such analysis may be performed in any stage of the cheese manufacturing, allowing for thorough evaluation of every step in the process. Finally, the preliminary results relative to the metabolomic investigation of Argentina sphyraena should certainly serve as a basis for implement a research tool able to provide deeper insights on the biology of this fish species with all advantages offered by the metabolomics approach.
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