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Omics and functional food

The journey towards viewing omic technologies as a priority for the functional food industry began in 2004 when the complete human DNA sequence was published using genomics as the core technology. Since then, scientific and technological progress in these techniques has paved the way for new frontiers of knowledge in many scientific fields and for new applications, products and services in their industrial dimension.

Omic science technologies

As a scientific discipline, omic sciences include existing technologies and some more recent ones such as epigenetics and metagenomics for studying microbiota, together with breakthroughs in computational tools applied to bioinformatics to provide us with an overview to grasp the biological processes underlying the whole of an organism.

Genomics: study of the genome and the function of genes.

Proteomics: study of the structure, function, location and interaction of proteins.

Transcriptomics: study of mRNA and gene expression.

Metabolomics: study of metabolites and metabolic products.

Lipidomics: study of the lipid species existing in a cell or biological system and the metabolic pathways and networks which link them.


The omic sciences, a challenge for the competitiveness of the food industry

Health is one of the main drivers of consumer decisions and an unarguable attribute for adding value to a food and making it attractive to the customer.

In turn, omic technologies further increase our knowledge of how food influences the prevention or evolution of diseases, thus allowing us to improve human nutrition and its impact on health. Yet despite their enormous potential, omic technologies are still barely used in business R&D in the healthy food industry.

The Red TecnomiFood was set up to drive the development of functional ingredients and foods and nutraceuticals using omic technologies. It is made up of five leading Spanish and European technology centres in generating scientific knowledge to advance the state of the art in using omics in the food industry and their transfer to businesses.

Omic technologies and business competitiveness

New products

Company competitiveness comes from being pioneers in new products with a proven health impact so that this attribute can be reflected in food labelling.

Standout products

The food industry has for years been faced with the challenge of using omic technologies to create new standout products that cater for social trends and consumer needs.

Food improvement

These technologies make it easier for the food industry, for example, to decipher the genome of raw materials for industrial use (animals, plants and microorganisms) and as a result address more rational molecular approaches in designing foods with ingredients which enhance their physicochemical, sensory and nutritional properties.

Process improvement

Omic technologies generate greater knowledge of the molecular and cellular processes involved in nutrition metabolism and the physiological effect of functional foods.