Food can be unambiguously described using a sufficient number of valid and stable biomarkers. For this purpose it is necessary to first get an idea about the biochemical processes occurring in a foodstuff with the help of ultra-high-resolution technologies, also with regard to interactions with the environment (exogenous and anthropogenic influences).
Depending on the question, the entirety of the DNA (genome), the proteins (proteom), the metabolic products (metabolom) and the element or isotopic profiles (isotopoly) are analyzed. The technologies used (genomics, proteomics, metabolomics and isotopolomics) are derived from the above-mentioned terms. Since the resulting hypothesis-free and highly resolved molecular fingerprints (FOOD FINGERPRINTING) are unambiguous, it is possible to distinguish between a reference and an unknown sample. However, in this approach comparatively large amounts of data are obtained, which must be reduced by software-based methods to the key components with the greatest variance between different sample populations, in order to extract only the relevant information. The differences (marker groups) identified in this way can subsequently be determined quantitatively by directed, so-called targeted analyzes (FOOD TARGETING). More particularly, due to the holistic approach, i.e. by the cross-linked and multi-dimensional detection of all relevant molecular and atomic levels (FOOD PROFILING), a unique, system-wide and forgery-proof image of a sample is obtained and on this basis its individuality is clearly defined.