Dr Sastia Prama Putri of Osaka University, Japan, spoke to Kate Mosford of The Column about advances in metabolomics, the need for authentication of high value food products, and the important role of gas chromatography–mass
spectrometry (GC–MS) in food analysis.
Q: How did you become involved in metabolomics?
A. My research focus was initially on the discovery of novel bioactive compounds from various natural products. I joined a metabolomics
laboratory in early 2011, and have since been involved in several research projects on metabolomics applications in food science
and metabolic engineering fields.
Sastia Prama Putri
Q: What is the role of your laboratory in food metabolomics?
A. The Laboratory of Bioresource Engineering, Osaka University (also known as Fukusaki laboratory) has been involved in food
metabolomics research since 2007. One of the first food metabolomics demonstrations performed at the laboratory predicted
the sensory attributes contributing to quality of food, such as green tea and watermelon.
Photo Credit: Ilona Nagy/Getty Images
Recently, our laboratory also conducted soy sauce research in collaboration with Kikkoman company, cheese research in collaboration
with Morinaga food company, and sake research in collaboration with Gekkekan (a renowned Japanese sake company), as well as
specialty coffee research in collaboration with the Indonesian Coffee and Cocoa Research company. Through this strong partnership
with food companies and food research institutes, we have demonstrated the use of metabolomics technology for assisting in
product development, authentication purposes, prediction of food sensory attributes, and the identification of metabolites
responsible for flavour, aroma, and other characteristics of food.
Professor Eiichiro Fukusaki is responsible for driving all of the research activities in the laboratory. He is a Full Professor
at the Graduate School of Engineering, Osaka University. He has published more than 200 journal articles, book chapters, and
reviews, and hold 17 domestic patents and eight international patents. His research collaborators include over 30 academic
institutions and major companies from various fields, including electrical, pharmaceutical, and medical as well as the food
industry. He received the Japan "Saito" Award from the Society of Biotechnology Japan in 2004.