Waters Corporation has introduced liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) software for small molecule omics data analysis which it believes is gaining momentum in the food industry.
Progenesis Quantification and Identification (QI) Version 2.0 complements the June introduction of Progenesis QI for proteomics Version 2.0 for large molecule omics data analysis.
Progenesis QI and Progenesis QI for proteomics software enables users to quantify and identify the significantly changing small molecule, lipid compounds, and proteins in samples.
It allows researchers to quantify and identify compounds and proteins with methods to analyze and visualize LC-MS data.
An apple example
Robert Tonge, product management at Waters, told FoodQualityNews.com that small molecules include sugars, amino acids, fats and lipids.
“Both bits of software can find differences between different samples, so you can compare different groups together, for example growing apples,” he said.
“For the ripening you could measure apples on a daily basis and measure what is happening as it is growing over two to four weeks to compare trends and not just A with B, you could compare A with B with C with D etc.
“Clearly people are getting into the idea of monitoring foods. Lipid-Omics looks at lipids and fats. India is a mass producer of butter and fats and they are very interested in monitoring the quality.
“It is not massive yet but you can see an increase and applications in food research could become significant.”
Tonge said omics has wide applicability across multiple industries and the food industry can take the benefits it has shown in other sectors, such as health sciences and medicines, and transition into food research.
“It could be used for food authenticity testing, I was in Scotland at a conference recently and they were concerned about Scottish salmon and ensuring it was from Scotland and not another country because there is a value associated with that. It is premium value so products need to be what they say they are," he said.
“Also as superfoods, Nestlé is doing a lot of work on personalised nutrition. It is not the food itself but the patient or animal which eats the foodstuff. Nestlé’s investment in protonomics moves it from an academic exercise to, when you see someone like that involved, a commercial benefit to be had.”
A review article for the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) said omics technologies could have implications in food risk assessment but it remained unclear to what extend they can be used.
Progenesis QI Version 2.0 includes Pathway Mapping, which facilitates the process of placing discoveries into a biological context, extracting maximum value from 'omics data.
Workflow Automation enables the software to move through multiple processing stages without user intervention, saving time and allowing for overnight and weekend processing.
It offers improved access to compound databases, increasing the chance of successful compound identification; and integration with the extended statistics functionality in EZInfo 3.0, with two-way dataflow to allow for flexible data mining through a single, menu-driven command.
Waters introduced Progenesis QI and Progenesis QI for proteomics in April following the acquisition of Nonlinear Dynamics ‘omics data analysis software.
It can also be used for GC-MS systems which search for more volatile compounds.
Tonge said as well as the above mentioned updates Version 2.0 has other improvements on the first version.
“It has a wider database of search libraries and if you can’t identify compounds there is an extended functionality available and improved automation,” he said.
“People expect the system to be easier to use and we have improved the user experience. They also want high levels of customer support and we can do that while competing software does not have that.
“It is faster and as time goes by it will have more application features and the results from the software will be more accurate. It is a gradual rather than a revolutionary change but software today from five years ago is almost unrecognisable.”