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Marina Creydt, Daria Hudzik, Marc Rurik, Oliver Kohlbacher, and Markus Fischer (accepted)

Food Authentication: Small Molecule Profiling as a Tool for the Geographic Discrimination of German White Asparagus

J. Agric. Food Chem..

For the first time, a non-targeted metabolomics approach by means of ultra-performance liquid chromatography coupled to electrospray quadruple time-of-flight mass spectrometer (UPLC-qTOF-ESI-MS(/MS)) was chosen for the discrimination of geographical origins of white asparagus samples (Asparagus officinalis). Over a period of four harvesting periods (4 years) approximately 400 asparagus samples were measured. Initially, four different LC-MS methods were used to detect as many metabolites as possible and to assess which method is most suitable. The most relevant marker compounds were linked to the influence of different plant stress parameters and climate effects. Some of the samples were also analyzed by isotope-ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS) which is the current gold standard for the discrimination of the geographical origin of asparagus. In summary, the analysis of the metabolome was proved to be quite suitable to determine the geographical origin of asparagus and seems to provide better interpretable results than IRMS studies.
10.1021/acs.jafc.8b05791