Untargeted approaches in food-omics: The potential of comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography/mass spectrometry

Federico Stilo, Carlo Bicchi, Albert Robbat, Stephen E. Reichenbach, Chiara Cordero

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


The contribution focuses on untargeted data processing/analysis approaches that are currently adopted to explore the 4D-data matrices produced by comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC × GC-MS) in food-omics. Strategies for untargeted explorations are rationalized through the type of features adopted (i.e., visual, datapoint, peak, and peak-regions) at the data processing level, and then discussed through relevant applications and illustrative examples, selected over peer-reviewed literature. The role of MS, including high vs. low resolution MS, as an active probe for specific cross-comparative analysis, is critically discussed also in the context of spectral deconvolution and subtraction, well-established procedures for 1D GC-MS explorations. Moreover, the challenging task of post-targeting aimed at identifying “unknown – knowns”, is examined in its potential, being the key to access a higher level of information. Selected examples emphasize the importance of reliable identification by retention indexing, retention pattern ordering, sensory evaluation (sensory analysis and olfactometry), and data mining.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number116162
JournalTrAC - Trends in Analytical Chemistry
StatePublished - Feb 2021


  • Comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography
  • Features for cross-comparative analysis
  • Food-omics untargeted investigations
  • GC × GC data Processing
  • MS subtraction
  • Multidimensional analytical platforms
  • Spectral deconvolution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Spectroscopy


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