German start-up aims to tap nutrient properties of 1000 organisms

By Shane Starling

- Last updated on GMT

German start-up aims to tap nutrient properties of 1000 organisms

Related tags: Metabolism

German firm Metabolomic Discoveries in launching a programme to discover the properties of 1000 organisms, with nutraceutical investigations beginning into coffee, tomatoes, potatoes and milk types.

Chief executive officer Nicolas Schauer told NutraIngredients the company was working independently, other than deriving samples from academic and commercial sources.

The scope of the program is broad ranging from food and beverages to medicine and cosmetics,”​ the company said in a statement, and noted that it was looking for further partners.

“With the analyzed samples, Metabolomic Discoveries will setup an extensive compound database, which will become a valuable source of information for further research.”

In from the dark

In the same statement Schaer added: “We are pleased to initiate the 1000 Metabolomes Program to contribute to the overall knowledge about organisms. Until now, the biochemical composition of many organisms and biological products has been pretty much in the dark.

Extensive research in the last decades was not able to shed light on the total metabolic composition of biological samples, the so called metabolome, due to lack of technology and interest. In the last decades, science focused on the description of organisms by their genome, transcriptome or proteome, but paid less attention to the metabolome.

The latter, however, reflects the quality state of each organism and is closer to the phenotype than the genome, transcriptome or even proteome.”

Senior scientist Martin Lehmann added: “Today, we are able to explore at once the complete metabolite composition of any given sample. At Metabolomic Discoveries we use novel technologies like high resolution GC- and LC-MS to unravel the metabolic composition of popular food and beverages like honey, chocolate, pepper, apple, banana, coffee, beer or wine. This knowledge will help us understand and identify flavor properties and nutritional values, as well as unnatural by-products and to recognize those as contaminants.”

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