Until recently, analytical methods for food safety and quality control had mainly been focused on restricted lists of well-known analytes. Nowadays, in addition to these classical methods, comprehensive analysis attains authentication as well as the detection of hazardous or safety-relevant manipulations and violations of the laws (e.g., addition of nonauthorized substances or application of technological processes prohibited is of urgent need in food control). This chapter shows that high resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS) associated with the data mining tools developed for metabolomics can address this issue by enabling (1) targeted analyses, (2) detection of untargeted and unknown compounds, and (3) detection of metabolites useful for the characterization of food matrices. After a brief outline of several well-established and emerging HRMS techniques, covering from mass sectors to imaging mass spectrometry, the current performance and applications of these approaches in food quality and safety are presented.
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