COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0420.v3
Subject: Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry Keywords: Non-targeted methods; method validation; food fraud; food authenticity; mass spectrometry; spectroscopy; NGS; NMR
Online: 23 May 2022 (11:10:00 CEST)
Through its suggestive name, non-targeted methods (NTMs) do not aim at a predefined "needle in the haystack". Instead, they exploit all the constituents of the haystack. This new form of analytical methods is increasingly finding applications in food and feed testing. However, the concepts, terms, and considerations related to this burgeoning field of analytical testing needs to be propagated for the benefit of ones associated in academic research, commercial development, and official control. This paper addresses the frequently asked questions around notations and terminologies surrounding NTMs. The widespread development and adoption of these methods also necessitates the need to develop approaches to NTM validation, i.e., evaluating the performance characteristics of a method to determine if it is fit-for-purpose. This work aims to provide a roadmap to approaching NTM validation. In doing so, the paper deliberates on the different considerations that influence the approach to validation and provides suggestions thereof.