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J Proteome Res. 2012 Jan 1;11(1):26-36. doi: 10.1021/pr2008829. Epub 2011 Oct 20.

We are what we eat: food safety and proteomics.

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Department of Ecological and Biological Sciences, Tuscia University, Largo dell'Università snc, 01100-Viterbo, Italy.


In this review, we lead the reader through the evolution of proteomics application to the study of quality control in production processes of foods (including food of plant origin and transgenic plants in particular, but also meat, wine and beer, and milk) and food safety (screening for foodborne pathogens). These topics are attracting a great deal of attention, especially in recent years, when the international community has become increasingly aware of the central role of food quality and safety and their influence on the health of end-consumers. Early proteomics studies in the field of food research were mainly aimed at performing exploratory analyses of food (bovine, swine, chicken, or lamb meat, but also transgenic food such as genetically modified maize, for example) and beverages (wine), with the goal of improving the quality of the end-products. Recently, developments in the field of proteomics have also allowed the study of safety issues, as the technical advantages of sensitive techniques such as mass spectrometry have guaranteed a faster and improved individuation of food contaminating pathogens with unprecedented sensitivity and specificity.

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