Molecular annotation of food – Towards personalized diet and precision health

Junai Gan, Justin B. Siegel, J. Bruce German

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: Personalized diet requires matching human genotypic and phenotypic features to foods that increase the chance of achieving a desired physiological health outcome. New insights and technologies will help to decipher the intricacies of diet-health relationships and create opportunities for breakthroughs in dietary interventions for personal health management. Scope and approach: This article describes the scientific progress towards personalized diet and points out the need for integrating high-quality data on food. A framework for molecular annotation of food is presented, focusing on what aspects should be measured and how these measures relate to health. Strategies of applying trending technologies to improve personalized diet and health are discussed, highlighting challenges and opportunities for transforming data into insights and actions. Key findings and conclusions: The goal of personalized diet is to enable individuals and caregivers to make informed dietary decisions for targeted health management. Achieving this goal requires a better understanding of how molecular properties of food influence individual eating behavior and health outcomes. Annotating food at a molecular level encompasses characterizing its chemical composition and modifications, physicochemical structure, and biological properties. Features of molecular properties in the food annotation framework are applicable to varied conditions and processes from raw materials to meals. Applications of trending technologies, such as omics techniques, wearable biosensors, and artificial intelligence, will support data collection, data analytics, and personalized dietary actions for targeted health management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)675-680
Number of pages6
JournalTrends in Food Science and Technology
StatePublished - Sep 2019


  • Data
  • Diet
  • Food
  • Health
  • Molecular property
  • Personalized nutrition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Food Science


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