Earlier this week I attended the First Belgium-Netherlands Joint Symposium on Metabolomics: Translational Approaches in Metabolomics, in the picturesque city of Spa in Belgium.
There were some interesting talks with invited speakers like Dr Johan Trygg from Umea Sweden, Prof. Dr. Thomas Hankemeier, Scientific director of the Netherlands Metabolomics Centre in Leiden, and Dr Augustin Scalbert, head of Biomarkers Group – from International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), Lyon.
Dr Scalbert did an interesting presentation about the role of the diet in the aetiology of chronic diseases. Using the Phenol Explorer database, a large area of research opens to develop new tools for epidemiological research and understand the role of polyphenols in the prevention of diseases and more particularly cancers.
Dr Scalbert co-developed Phenol Explorer, which contains values for 500 different polyphenols in over 400 foods, at INRA in collaboration with in collaboration with AFSSA, the University of Alberta, the University of Barcelona and In Siliflo. The project had the financial support of the French government, Unilever, Danone, Nestlé and the Institut National du Cancer (Paris).
The database will contain additional information about polyphenols in foods cooked in different manners, so that you can check which amount of Polyphenols you lose when boiling your vegetables. This new Phenol-Explorer release will be made public by this summer. Dr Scalbert gave me a demonstration and I must admit I was almost tempted to get back to the bench and start studying polyphenols!
I was discussing Progenesis CoMet with Dr Scalbert and the challenges of metabolite Identification. Something that is really specific to Phenol Explorer is its traceability: all information used to generate the database, is accessible (publications, number of samples analysed and more), they are more than useful to help the users to validate the identification.
That validation approach is similar to the approach we have within Progenesis CoMet, using our integrated search tool Progenesis MetaScope. In a single-click you can search your own data and return compound identifications directly back into the workflow. The results, with a MetaScope compound identification score applied, are automatically associated with the quantified compound ions. You have additional information i.e. mass similarity, isotope similarity and Retention Time similarity, which help you to validate the metabolites identifications.
You can test it yourself and query various database, i.e. Lipid Maps, HMDB, PubChem and others.
Why not download Progenesis CoMet and trial it with your own data? My next conference is the Metabolomics Society 2013 meeting which is being held in Glasgow, Scotland, July 1st – 4th. If you are also attending, please stop by booth #14 to see the very latest developments in Progenesis CoMet as we will be showing the exciting new features which will be in the next release.